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Radiation Protection Practices of Staff during Extra-Corporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy at Okada, Nigeria

KC Eze
CC Nzotta
CU Eze
N Omordia
TAT Salami
B Okegbunam


Background: The study was designed to find out the radiation protection practices of radiologists and other staff involved in the first extra-corporeal shock wave lithotripsy in Nigeria, performed at Igbinedion Hospital and Medical Research Centre, Okada. Methodology: Some members of staff who were present when the extra-corporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) was used in the hospital at Okada were interviewed between November 2002 and August 2003. Radiology records of the hospital were studied. Literature search involved available publication on the procedure in local and international journals with interest in precautions to reducing radiation exposure. Results: Only lead apron and lead gloves were used by the radiologists for radiation protection and shielding
during fluoroscopy procedures. The fluoroscopy was the screen type with TV monitor. Multiple sessions were used in several patients with multiple pre- and post- treatment
radiographic studies including contrast studies with average of two sessions per patient. All the patients were adults aged between 26 and 65 years with mean age of 42.5 years. 627-6000 shock waves were delivered over 45-135 minutes at intensity of 143-19KV depending on patients build and the size of the stones. The sizes of the patients varied from very obese with large bulk to slim built. Radiation monitoring of the staff and patients was
not done. Staff believed that radiation effect from the lithotripsy procedure was low therefore adequate radiation monitoring and radiation reducing alteration in the procedure was rarely adopted. Conclusion: Extended fluoroscopy time, multiple fluoroscopy examinations, multiple treatment sessions and multiple x-ray examinations which increased both the patients\' and staff\'s radiation exposures were noted. Proper radiation protection and monitoring of patients and staff are necessary to avoid the risks from low-level exposure to radiation such as in ESWL.

Keywords: Extra-corporeal, Shockwave, Lithotripsy, Radiation, Protection, Practices, Doctors

Nigerian Journal of Medicine Vol. 17 (3) 2008: pp. 337-339