Interventional cardiac procedures can be complex and involve extensive use of low dose rate fluoroscopy and high dose rate in image acquisition mode; hence, staff may receive significant radiation exposure. Radiation exposure to operators was assessed in 173 procedures. Fluoroscopy time, number of acquired images and dose-area product were recorded and occupational dose assessed with thermoluminescence dosemeters. The effective dose to the operator was compared with relevant literature data: values found were generally lower than those reported for other interventional cardiology laboratories. This is probably because of the strict radiation protection policy in our centre. Higher effective doses were found for defibrillator implantation and percutaneous transluminal coronary angiography procedures; for other cardiac procedures, effective dose was lower. Yearly extrapolated occupational doses to cardiologists are lower than the regulatory dose limit and in the lower band of doses reported in the literature.
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