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radiation and pregnancy

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11 years 4 months ago #50318 by medstudent24
I just started my 3rd year rotation in Anes and my husband and I are trying to conceive. I didn't even consider that I would be exposed to radiation. We have been doing several ortho cases and fluoroscopy has been used in every case I have been in on. I have been wearing a lead vest but is that enough? My rotation is only 3 weeks long and I should have ovulated yesterday or sometime this week. I dont want to ask for any special privileges since I dont even know if I am pregnant. If I am wearing the lead vest, am I okay? If I find out I am pregnant should I tell the clerkship director? I really didnt want anyone to know until I was showing or was really sick. I was just going to talk to the dean about delaying a clerkship rotation if I get pregnant now, but other than that I didn't think I should just tell everyone. It shouldnt affect my grades but I dont want to take any chances. My school is family friendly but I really need my grades to be strong this year.

Please let me know any thoughts or what those of you did when you were pregnant and on rotations.

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11 years 4 months ago #50319 by Baby Einstein
You should tell the clerkship director as soon as you know you are pregnant. Not sure about the lead vest; it's probably enough but you should discuss this with your doctor to be sure.

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11 years 4 months ago #50320 by pazguata
You should always wear lead in the OR, pregnant or not, it's just good practice as there's no reason to not expose yourself to excess radiation. I'm hoping you mean a lead apron and not the half piece vest that is usually worn with a coordinating skirt (you should be wearing both pieces if that's the case). Maximum recommended radiation exposure during pregnancy is 500 mrem (about 1/10th of that recommended per year for health care workers). I'm an anesthesia resident, 30 wks pregnant, and haven't skipped any cases in the OR, I just wear lead any time they're shooting any images, and wear a radiation safety badge to monitor my monthly exposure. But once again, whether TTC or pregnant or even not planning on getting pregnant, always wear full length lead (ie apron or vest +skirt). And if you do find out you're pregnant and are in the OR at the time, regardless of the stage you should let the coordinator and OR staff know, as there are certain chemicals that you don't want to inhale in significant amts, especially in early pregnancy (ie- nitrous oxide during mask vents, methylmethacrolide, etc)

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11 years 4 months ago #50321 by asunshine
I'm a rad RN, and you should definitely be wearing a full lead. Usually we provide our anesthesiologist with a lead shield on wheels to protect him/her during the case, also. Just ask for it, and they should be able to get one for you, no questions asked. Say you're worried about cataracts or something.

If you are pregnant and still working near x-rays, ABSOLUTELY tell the powers-that-be so you can get a badge and monitor the baby's exposure. They are required to keep your secret if you want them to, so don't worry about that part.

-asunshine, who worked in radiology while pregnant, and has a totally normal newborn :)

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11 years 1 month ago #50322 by marie337
I thought I would revive this thread. I'm a medical student doing neurosurgery right now and also happen to be 10 weeks pregnant. I wear lead religiously and try to stand as far away as possible or even leave the room when possible. Every thing I read seems to say I'm okay, but I'm still anxious about this. Nearly every case uses fluoroscopy for the next 4 weeks. Any opinions? I do plan to ask my doc when I see her on Friday, btw.

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