A new heart catheterization laboratory at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak has installed the world’s first shielding system designed to reduce radiation exposure for catheterization lab doctors, nurses, and technicians.
Accumulated radiation exposure is one of the occupational health hazards of working in a catheterization laboratory, says Simon Dixon, M.D., chair of cardiovascular medicine, noting that potential adverse effects of ongoing radiation exposure include cancers and cataracts.
Trinity-Guard, manufactured by CFI Medical in Fenton, uses shields to provide a radiation barrier for lab staff, thus eliminating the need for staff to wear lead aprons that weigh 15 to 20 pounds and can cause orthopedic injuries. After testing its effectiveness, Beaumont staff will submit test data for state approval of the shielding system.
“Patient radiation exposure in the catheterization lab is typically limited,” Dixon says. However, Beaumont — which performed more than 5,000 diagnostic and interventional procedures in 2012 — has also taken steps to improve radiation safety for patients in the “cath lab” and during other medical procedures.
The 673-square-foot cardiac catheterization suite was developed through a $1 million gift from Robert Rossiter, a retired chairman and CEO and president of Lear Corp. The center is also the first to install the country’s first angiography system, which provides higher quality images of tiny vessels in the heart during diagnostic and interventional procedures.