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Are Orthopaedic Residents Concerned about Radiation Protection?

Mamer S Rosario, Venancio P Garduce Jr and Joseph Keat T Sison

Background: A study in the United Kingdom (UK) has found that basic surgical trainees were lacking in the essential knowledge of ionizing radiation in orthopaedic trauma. The same scenario could be happening in the Philippines, on top of the observation that in most major tertiary hospitals, orthopaedic residents get much radiation exposure both intra- and extra-operatively as radiographic positioning of patients has been a major responsibility in the residency program.

Methods: One hundred fifty-six (156) orthopaedic residents from all the Metro Manila-based training institutions were asked to answer questions adapted from the pre-set questionnaire used by Khan et al. (Appendix A). in the UK study. Chisquare test was used to compare difference in proportions, and p-values less than or equal to 0.05 were considered statistically significant.

Results: Responses show 84 of 156 residents (54%) has never read any literature on radiation protection, and 141 (90%, p-value<0) do not know the ALARA principle. One hundred fifty-three (153) of 156 residents (98%, p-value<0) are aware of the thyroid shield, but only 56% of them (p-value<0.042) use it. Seventy-four of them (47%) do not consider pregnancy test use important, and 62% of them (p-value<0) do not order one among trauma patients of childbearing age. One hundred and ten of 156 residents (70%) do not know that severity between scattered and direct radiation is dissimilar.

Conclusion: Filipino orthopaedic residents, too, are lacking in the essential knowledge of ionizing radiation. Most of the residents are not adhering to radiation safety principles, and are not practicing safety measures.