RAPDAD Daily Dose Radiation Protection Blog
Bringing you relevant news, clinical studies, and interesting stories about life in the lab.
We want to promote safety and protection from scatter radiation in the lab, but let’s connect with you and have some fun together.
Team Pictures are on Monday at 8:00 am
Don’t be surprised if your RADPAD rep asks to take a group picture of you and your team in action (well, probably in the control room because of HIPPA). Every newsletter we will feature different cath and IR lab teams. There could be a nice prize for you all if we feature your team.


The growing concern about patients not seeking treatment during COVID.


In March hospitals began postponing elective procedures to save resources and prepare for the tidal wave of COVID-19 cases that would surely hit them in 30 days. Almost every hospital waited, and then waited some more for the anticipated COVID crush. People self-isolated and social distanced and it worked. It worked so well in so many places that hospitals were virtually empty.
Staff hours were cut from full-time to part-time to no-time in many places. So, what happened to all those patients needing heart caths, valves, and pacers, etc.? Nothing. In fact, concern is growing within the medical community that patients who need treatment are not seeking it due to apprehension surrounding the COVID virus. The American College of Cardiology recently published this quote:
“The ACC is concerned about the 35-40 percent drop in STEMI and stroke
patients presenting to emergency rooms across the U.S. and internationally
since the start of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2) pandemic.”


Thomas Maddox, MD, MSc, FACC
dicardiology.com, May 1st, 2020
bmi and radiation protection


High BMI patients and dangerously high radiation doses.

Advertising tells us that “bigger is better” in most everything whether it’s a bigger house or bigger savings. However, too much of “bigger is better” is turning this country into a nation of supersized people, and when sick, they become a nation of super-sized patients.
High BMI patients are at risk for many dangerous and potentially deadly diseases, many of which are treated in the cath labs. These high BMI patients in our labs put us at greater risk for dangerously high radiation
A recent BMI/Radiation relationship study by Dr. Ryan Madder of Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, MI, found that high BMI (35-40) patients resulted in almost 7X more scatter radiation than those with a BMI of 25.

Serious risks and safety solutions by Dr. Mina S. Makary M.D.

While the radiation doses utilized in image-guided procedures are generally considered low, recent studies have demonstrated significant effects of chronic low-dose radiation exposure to the procedural staff.

Effects of chronic low-dose radiation exposure:

• Alarming incidence of brain cancer
• Higher incidence of skin, thyroid, breast cancers, and melanomas
• Higher incidence of stroke and atherosclerotic disease
• Increased risk of developing cataracts
• Decreased memory and verbal fluency
• Higher frequency of chromosomal abnormalities

The deleterious effects of radiation exposure are not only related to dose thresholds of specific exposures, but they are also a function of the cumulative doses over one’s lifetime exposure. These risks prompt increased awareness and education, improved radiation protection techniques, and further research efforts.

Risk reduction techniques – ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable):

• Use intermittent fluoroscopy whenever possible
• Minimize the pulse rate for standard fluoroscopy
• Minimize the frame rate for digital angiography/digital subtraction angiography
• Collimate
• Avoid magnification if feasible
• Utilize the “last image hold” function rather than obtaining new unwarranted images

Next, capitalizing upon the nature and distribution of scatter radiation, which is the primary source of occupational exposure, further reduces one’s dose.

Capitalize on the nature of radiation to reduce dose:

• Step back as far as possible from the radiation source
• Angulate the tube towards the operator when oblique views are desired to avoid back scatter
• Utilize shielding
• Personal aprons
• Caps
• Thyroid shields
• Eyewear
• Table shields
• Mounted side shields
• Patient drape shields
• Monitor amount of radiation by utilizing personal dosimeter and equipment data.

In addition to protecting the procedural team, good radiation safety habits are good patient care. With the growth of both diagnostic imaging and imaging-guided procedures that require ionizing radiation, patient exposures have significantly increased at an alarming rate over the past three decades, and it is estimated that medical imaging contributed to 48 percent of the public’s radiation exposure in 2006 compared to only 15 percent in the 1980s.

Good radiation safety habits equals good patient care:

• Minimizing fluoroscopy time reduces patient exposure
• Collimation improves image contrast and quality in addition to reducing the dose
• Using non-ionizing radiation for procedural guidance, such as ultrasound and MRI, as much as possible
• Maximizing pre-procedural imaging for planning to minimize procedural time
• Avoiding unnecessary procedures

Occupational radiation safety is critical for many reasons. It protects our proceduralists and staff, as well as our patients while also ensuring the patient receives the best care possible. The risks are real. The benefits are real.

Radiation safety is both an occupational safety issue, as well as a patient care issue. It is not a luxury, and chronic low-dose radiation does matter. The time is now to prioritize radiation safety in our daily practice.

Dr. Makary’s article in its entirety is available at https://rb.gy/lzewjs. For queries/questions, he can be reached via social media/twitter at @MinaMakaryMD


This is your opportunity to show off that truly impressive tattoo. Don’t have one? Get creative with temporary tattoos or enter a friend’s! Snap a photo and send your entry with your name to:


RADPAD radiation protection tattoo contest

Ms. Crystal Bass (RT) of the cath lab at St. Joseph’s in College Station, Texas, is kicking off the contest and setting the bar high with this photo of her great white shark tattoo. Take the challenge and go for the glory!

cath lab radiation protection

Are they a doc, a tech or a nurse? Are they brilliant, innovative, clever or just funny enough to keep everyone around them loose and enjoying work even on those bad days? Every lab has one of those people who are great to be around, even when they are working. Send us your nominee and we’ll pick one to be featured in the next newsletter. The winner will be interviewed by our editor and have a “Rock Star” portrait done of him or her by famous illustrator Thomas Fluharty http://www.thomasfluharty.com/popculture. If your “Rock Star” makes the newsletter, we’ll send you and your team some nice, free “stuff”. Send your nominee contact info to info@jessed72.sg-host.com.

radiation protection newsletter section


We use them everyday, but do you remember what the letters stand for?

Be one of the first 20 people to correctly match the full name represented by each acronym and win a $25 Starbucks Gift Card.

Send a picture of your answers along with your contact info to:
(Answers must be legible to win!)
radpad radiation protection newsletter

Trust RADPAD® Radiation Protection Shields for all your fluoro guided interventions.


RADPAD® was developed by physicians for physicians. Proven radiation protection during Cine and Digital Subtraction Angiography with 40+ independent clinical studies and over 600 citations in research publications including citations for efficacy by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), the Society of Cardiovascular Angiography & Intervention (SCAI), the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Clinical Policy Approval Committee, the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE), and the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS). 

Don’t bet your career or your health on anything less.

Contact us today for a FREE radiation evaluation and No-Brainer® radiation protection cap!

For more information visit:

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The Gold Standard in Radiation Protection


14740 W 101st Terrace
Lenexa, KS 66215

or 1-877-7RADPAD (1-877-772-3723)


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