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AANA J. 2011 Jun;79(3):257-67.

Radiation safety for anesthesia providers.

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Nurse Anesthesia Program, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, USA.


Many modern diagnostic and surgical procedures rely heavily on the use of ionizing radiation. These procedures include computed tomography, nuclear medicine procedures, interventional radiology, and cardiac catheterization and electrophysiology procedures. Recent trends toward increased patient visits and patients with multiple challenging comorbidities have meant that anesthesia providers are increasingly required to provide services in the ancillary areas using ionizing radiation. As a result, anesthesia providers are at a greater-than-ever risk for excessive radiation doses. An overview of some of the basic principles of radiation biology, radiation physics, and radiation protection and specific guidelines related to radiation exposure and pregnancy are described. The effects of radiation exposure are cumulative and permanent, and an understanding of these principles and practices will help anesthesia providers keep their occupational exposure to a minimum.

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