OBJECTIVES: To assess the compliance of endourologists with radiation safety measures and to determine the prevalence of orthopedic complaints among practicing endourologists.
METHODS: An Internet-based survey was sent to all members of the Endourological Society. Baseline characteristics on practice patterns (geographical region, age, years of practice, days per week of endourology, and number of cases in the previous year), compliance with various radiation protection measures (thyroid, chest and pelvic shields, gloves, glasses, and dosimeters), and prevalence of various orthopedic complaints (neck, back, hand, and joint problems) were assessed. Furthermore, open-ended questions assessed reasons for noncompliance.
RESULTS: Out of 160 surveys returned, 24 were excluded because of incomplete data. There was good compliance with chest and pelvic shields with 97% of endourologists reported wearing these. However, compliance with thyroid shields was only 68%. Furthermore, only 34.3%, 17.2%, and 9.7% of endourologists reported using dosimeters, lead-impregnated glasses, and gloves, respectively. Overall, 86 (64.2%) respondents complained of orthopedic problems. Specifically, 51 (38.1%) complained of back problems, 37 (27.6%) neck problems, 23 (17.2%) hand problems, and 19 (14.2%) complained of hip and knee problems. The prevalence of orthopedic complaints was significantly higher among African endourologists, older endourologists (>40 years), longer duration of practice (>10 years) and combined annual caseload of ureteroscopies (URS) and percutaneous nephrolithotomies (PCNL).
CONCLUSIONS: Compliance in the use of thyroid shields, dosimeters, and lead-impregnated glasses and gloves could be improved. Orthopedic complaints among practicing endourologists are common and correlate with the annual caseload of combined URS and PCNL.
Elkoushy MA, Andonian S. Are you the author?
Department of Urology, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Canada.
Reference: J Endourol. 2011 Oct;25(10):1609-13.