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Radiation Training May Be Lacking in Cardiology Fellows

National survey finds substantial lack of knowledge about radiation safety-related issues

THURSDAY, July 8 (HealthDay News) -- Cardiology fellows appear to be inadequately educated about radiation safety, according to research published in the July 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

Candice Kim, of the University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago, and colleagues analyzed data from 267 cardiology fellows in the United States who responded to an online survey.

The researchers found that 82 percent of the surveyed cardiologists had undergone formal radiation safety training. Only 60 percent knew how to contact their hospital's radiation safety officer, and 58 percent were aware of their hospital's pregnancy radiation policy. Roughly half (52 percent) always wore a dosimeter, and most (81 percent) weren't aware of their level of radiation exposure in the previous year. In addition, 74 percent were aware of the safe levels of radiation exposure. Those who had received formal training were more likely to be aware of various radiation-related issues, including their hospital's pregnancy policy, safe exposure levels, and their recent level of exposure, as well as being more likely to use dosimeters and RadPads consistently.

"Exposure to radiation can have serious biologic effects on clinical cardiologists, particularly for cardiology fellows, who are exposed to greater levels than attending cardiologists. These health risks can be reduced if proper training and protection measures are applied. The results from our contemporary analysis suggest that cardiology fellows receive inadequate radiation safety training, contributing to their lack of knowledge regarding safety policies and the use of protective equipment," the authors write.

A co-author disclosed financial ties to Eli-Lilly and Daiichi Sankyo.

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