What is known about radiation exposure to physicians who perform cardiac interventions is reviewed and various factors that affect their exposure are discussed. There are wide variations in the radiation dose (up to 1000-fold) per procedure. Despite extensive improvements in equipment and technology, there has been little or no reduction in dose over time. The wide variation and lack of reduction in operator doses strongly suggests that more attention must be paid to factors influencing the operator dose. Numerous patient, physician and shielding factors influence the operator dose to different degrees. Operators can change some of these factors immediately, at minimal or no cost, with a substantial reduction in dose and potential cancer risk.
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