The economic cost of adverse health effects of occupational exposure to interventional fluoroscopy is estimated conservatively to be at least $49 million annually in the US. The economic cost of excess cancer risk associated with occupational exposure to interventional fluoroscopy is estimated to be $36.8 million annually. The economic cost of major MSDs for interventional HCPs is estimated to be $12.2 million each year based on conservative assumptions of an incidence of 1.8% and an average cost of $45,000 per significant MSD for physicians and $12,000 for nurses and technicians. This does not take into account reduction in number of procedures performed annually, physician replacement costs, lawsuits or diminished competitive position of hospitals.

Of the 314 Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) survey responders, 72% wear lightweight lead garments, 47% report no or variable use of dosimeters, 6.9% limited their caseload because of radiation exposure, 9.3% took a health-related leave of absence and 49.4% had at least one orthopedic injury: 24.7% cervical spine disease, 34.4% lumbar spine problems, and 19.6% hip, knee or ankle joint problems. Five years of practice was associated with development of orthopedic pain or injury for 85% of respondents.

Our DNA is not designed to tolerate chronic daily radiation at the doses we now receive. Our institutions and healthcare systems need to acknowledge our inherent risk of working with radiation and we should act as our own regulators so that every professional can safely practice without compromising their health, as there is no safe dose of radiation and a fundamental cultural shift is needed. Their dismissive attitude is most likely due to the inherent inability to feel threatened by something they cannot see or feel.

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