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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 19(5); 2008 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2008;19(5): 541-550.
Survey of Radiation Exposure to Emergency Physicians
Sang Hoon Oh, Se Min Choi, Mi Jin Lee, Kyu Nam Park, Seung Pill Choi, Young Min Kim, Byung Hak So, Han Joon Kim, Young Soon Cho, Tai Yong Hong
1Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea. growth108@catholic.ac.kr
2Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, Konyang University, Daejeon, Korea.
3Department of Emergency Medicine, Bucheon Hospital of Soonchunhyang University, Korea.
ABSTRACT
PURPOSE:
Emergency physicians (EPs) are exposed to radiation in the emergency department (ED). However, EPs are not followed with dosimeter measurements of radiation exposure because of the common belief that EPs have a low exposure to radiation. This study was performed to investigate the recognition of EPs' level of radiation exposure.
METHODS:
Data were collected from direct interviews with questionnaires administered at five ED's medical conference from November, 2007 to March, 2008. One hundred and twenty-one EPs were surveyed with questionnaires. The questionnaires consisted of six items on the patient characteristics, rate of radiation exposure, recognition of radiation exposure, knowledge of radiation exposure, patient exposure, and education. Some questions were graded on a five point Likert scale. The average and standard deviation were calculated.
RESULTS:
There were 58.3% of the EPs that reported that they were exposed to portable X-rays more than three times per day; 58.8% of the answers showed that the EPs did not escape from exposure to the portable X-rays. For 87.3% of the EPs, they did not wear lead aprons during the portable X-rays. There were 51.1% of answers that severely underestimated the radiation dose from a CT. The recognition and knowledge of radiation exposure among ED residents increased as there level of training increased, but this was not the case for the board certified emergency physicians (p=0.016). The radiation exposure to the patients was not accurately estimated by EP scores, regardless of their level of experience.
CONCLUSION:
The lack of knowledge and recognition of the exposure to radiation by EPs expose them and their patients to potentially dangerous levels of radiation that might increase their lifetime cancer risk. We recommend that EPs should be educated regarding their radiation exposure as well as their patients and followed by dosimeter evaluations to minimize radiation exposure.
Key words: Radiation, Occupational Exposure, Recognition, Questionnaires
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