ACC, SCAI Publish Position Statement on Cath Lab Occupational Health Hazards

The ACC and Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) on April 6 published a joint position statement on occupational health hazards in the catheterization (cath) laboratory in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The document provides best practices for professional societies to minimize radiation exposure and injuries associated with work in cath labs.

Led by Lloyd W. Klein, MD, FACC, the statement aims to "review the data documenting occupational health injuries, summarize current equipment and processes that can be widely applied to optimize protection, emphasize the importance of investment by hospitals and health systems in protective equipment established to enhance workplace safety, examine barriers that need to be overcome to spur advances to enhance the occupational safety of the fluoroscopic laboratory environment, and propose enhanced advocacy for innovation."

In addition to outlining risks associated with radiation exposure and orthopedic injuries, the document discusses optimal procedures to minimize injury, new protective equipment and future policy directions, as well as the role of industry and hospitals.

According to the document, professional societies should strive toward a culture of safety for patients and cath lab staff. The path forward should ensure: 1) consistent adherence to established procedural protocols; 2) widespread adoption and utilization of novel commercially available protection systems; and 3) encouragement and support to develop more effective equipment and processes.

"Our professional societies play a key role to help establish what is considered reasonable and necessary for best practice in radiation safety and clinical wellness," Klein concludes.

Clinical Topics: Invasive Cardiovascular Angiography and Intervention, Noninvasive Imaging, Interventions and Imaging, Angiography, Nuclear Imaging

Keywords: Occupational Health, Fluoroscopy, Industry, Occupational Injuries, Catheterization, Angiography, Protective Devices

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