Radiation Training, Radiation Protection, and Fluoroscopy Utilization Practices Among US Therapeutic Endoscopists. Digestive diseases and sciences Sethi, S., Barakat, M. T., Friedland, S., Banerjee, S. 2019


BACKGROUND: Fluoroscopy use during ERCP exposes patients and providers to deleterious effects of radiation. Formal training in fluoroscopy/radiation protection is not widely emphasized during therapeutic endoscopy training, and radiation use during GI endoscopy has not previously been characterized in the USA. In this study, we evaluated radiation training, fluoroscopy use patterns, and radiation protection practices among US therapeutic endoscopists.METHODS: An anonymous electronic survey was distributed to US therapeutic endoscopists, and responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics. State-specific requirements for fluoroscopy utilization were determined from state radiologic health branches.RESULTS: A total of 159 endoscopists (response rate 67.8%) predominantly those working in university hospitals (69.2%) with >5years of experience performing ERCP (74.9%) completed the questionnaire. Although the majority of endoscopists (61.6%) reported that they personally controlled fluoroscopy during ERCP, most (56.6%) had not received training on operating their fluoroscopy system. Only a minority (18-31%) of all respondents reported consistently utilizing modifiable fluoroscopy system parameters that minimize patient radiation exposure (pulsed fluoroscopy, frame rate modification or collimation). Endoscopists appear to undertake adequate personal radiation protective measures although use of a dosimeter was not consistent in half of respondents. The majority of states (56.8%) do not have any stated requirement for certification of non-radiologist physicians who intend to operate fluoroscopy.CONCLUSIONS: Most US gastroenterologists performing ERCP have not received formal training in operating their fluoroscopy system or in minimizing radiation exposure to themselves and to their patients. Such formal training should be included in all therapeutic endoscopy training programs, and fluoroscopy system-specific training should be offered at all hospitals.

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