Original Research

The knowledge, awareness and practices of radiation safety amongst orthopaedic surgeons

Louis W.A. van Papendorp, Farhana E. Suleman, Heleen Hanekom
South African Journal of Radiology | Vol 24, No 1 | a1806 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajr.v24i1.1806 | © 2020 Louis W.A. van Papendorp, Farhana E. Suleman, Heleen Hanekom | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 October 2019 | Published: 27 February 2020

About the author(s)

Louis W.A. van Papendorp, Department of Radiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria and Steve Biko Academic Hospital, Pretoria, South Africa
Farhana E. Suleman, Department of Radiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria and Kalafong Hospital, Pretoria, South Africa
Heleen Hanekom, Department of Radiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria and Steve Biko Academic Hospital, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Fluoroscopic imaging in orthopaedic theatres is increasing, with added risk to the orthopaedic surgeon who is increasingly being exposed to ionising radiation. It is thus crucial for orthopaedic surgeons to have a working knowledge of radiation safety. In spite of these concerns, however, many orthopaedic surgeons do not receive standard training in radiation safety.

Objectives: The evaluation of orthopaedic surgeons’ knowledge, awareness and everyday practices regarding radiation safety in an academic hospital.

Methods: A questionnaire with multiple-choice-type questions was developed by a panel of experts and used to conduct a descriptive study. The questionnaire had multiple dimensions, each evaluating orthopaedic knowledge, awareness and practices, respectively. The study population included orthopaedic surgeons rotating within the orthopaedic circuit of the University of Pretoria.

Results: Orthopaedic surgeons regularly make use of fluoroscopic imaging in theatre, with 34 (77%) participants indicating that they use fluoroscopy in more than half of all their procedures performed. Most participants have insufficient knowledge of radiation safety, with the majority failing to correctly answer basic questions on radiation safety. Forty (91%) participants do not wear personal dosimeters, in spite of 39 participants (89%) believing that they are vulnerable to adverse effects. Basic radiation protection devices are underutilised, with 32 (73%) participants indicating that they have not received adequate training in radiation safety.

Conclusion: The majority of orthopaedic surgeons regularly use fluoroscopic imaging in theatre yet lack in-depth knowledge and awareness regarding radiation safety associated with this imaging modality. Implementation of a radiation safety training programme is thus recommended.


Keywords

radiation protection; orthopaedic surgeon; radiation safety; knowledge; awareness; practices.

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Crossref Citations

1. Knowledge Regarding Ionizing Radiation Exposure Safety Among Orthopedic Surgeons at Hospitals in Al-Madinah
Yaser A Alshabi, Murad A Yasawy, Amin K Makhdoom, Rama A Kablaghli, Khalid S Alanazi, Siraj M Eid, Wafa M Imran
Cureus  year: 2022  
doi: 10.7759/cureus.30738