Radiation Safety in the Operating Room (OR)

George Tsoukatos, BPS, RT(R)

*Medical Imaging Consultant, Radiology Support Services, Germantown, NY

Address correspondence to: George Tsoukatos, BPS, RT(R), Radiology Support Services, PO Box 215, Germantown, NY 12526. Email: radiologytechnique@gmail.com.

Disclosure Statement: The author reports having no significant financial or advisory relationships with corporate organizations related to this activity.



Radiation doses and the risk of radiation-related injury are typically higher with interventional fluoroscopic and operating room (OR) procedures than with conventional studies due to the greater complexity and longer duration of fluoroscopy time that are typically required. As with all radiation, however, there is a risk to the patient, physician, operating room, and ancillary support staff as well as the radiographer of overexposure due to continuous exposure to ionizing radiation. A host of government agencies and professional societies have established safe radiation thresholds for patients undergoing procedures with either static radiography or continuous fluoroscopy procedures performed in the OR as well as in interventional or therapeutic suites. This article discusses the various procedures, radiation dose metrics, occupational exposure guidelines, and reduction techniques that are currently utilized in the OR and associated specialty suites when there is the need to utilize ionizing radiation.

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