Interventional radiology (fluoroscopically-guided) techniques are being used by an increasing number of clinicians not adequately trained in radiation safety or radiobiology. Many of these interventionists are not aware of the potential for injury from these procedures or the simple methods for decreasing their incidence. Many patients are not being counselled on the radiation risks, nor followed up when radiation doses from difficult procedures may lead to injury. Some patients are suffering radiation-induced skin injuries and younger patients may face an increased risk of future cancer. Interventionists are having their practice limited or suffering injury, and are exposing their staff to high doses.
In some interventional procedures, skin doses to patients approach those experienced in some cancer radiotherapy fractions. Radiation-induced skin injuries are occurring in patients due to the use of inappropriate equipment and, more often, poor operational technique. Injuries to physicians and staff performing interventional procedures have also been observed. Acute radiation doses (to patients) may cause erythema at 2 Gy, cataract at 2 Gy, permanent epilation at 7 Gy, and delayed skin necrosis at 12 Gy. Protracted (occupational) exposures to the eye may cause cataract at 4 Gy if the dose is received in less than 3 months, at 5.5 Gy if received over a period exceeding 3 months.