Digestive Disease Center, Department of Internal Medicine, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Korea.
During endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), all efforts should be made to be aware of radiation hazards and to reduce radiation exposure. The aim of this study was to investigate the status of radiation protective equipment and the awareness of radiation exposure in health care providers performing ERCP in Korean hospitals.
A survey with a total of 42 questions was sent to each respondent via mail or e-mail between October 2010 and March 2011. The survey targeted nurses and radiation technicians who participated in ERCP in secondary or tertiary referral centers.
A total of 78 providers from 38 hospitals responded to the surveys (response rate, 52%). The preparation and actual utilization rates of protective equipment were 55.3% and 61.9% for lead shields, 100% and 98.7% for lead aprons, 47.4% and 37.8% for lead glasses, 97.4% and 94.7% for thyroid shields, and 57.7% and 68.9% for radiation dosimeters, respectively. The common reason for not wearing protective equipment was that the equipment was bothersome, according to 45.7% of the respondents.
More protective equipment, such as lead shields and lead glasses, should be provided to health care providers involved in ERCP. In particular, the actual utilization rate for lead glasses was very low.