Orthopedic surgery residents face radiation exposure: 4 things to know

Written by Shayna Korol | February 12, 2018 | Print  |

A survey of U.S. orthopedic surgery residents in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery found that residency programs and hospitals need to improve access to lead personal protective equipment for orthopedic residents.

Here are four things to know:


1. An invitation to participate in a web-based, anonymous survey was distributed to 46 U.S. allopathic orthopedic surgery residency programs, or 1,207 potential resident respondents; study authors received 517 surveys for analysis.


2. Almost all — 98 percent — of residents believed that the hospital or residency program should provide personal protective equipment. Provision of personal protective equipment was not universal, however, with 33.8 percent of residents reporting none and 54.2 percent reporting provision of a gown and thyroid shield. The prevalence of leaded glasses usage was 21 percent.


3. Residents from the Southeast, West, and Midwest had lower compliance with lead gown usage than other regions of the contry. The leading reason not to wear a lead apron was forgetfulness, as 42 percent of residents reported.


4. The authors conclude that the availability of lead personal protective equipment leads to increased compliance among the residents surveyed. In addition to yearly occupational hazard training specific to orthopedic surgery, residency programs and hospitals need to take greater efforts to increase access to lead personal protective equipment for orthopedic residents.


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