News | Radiation Dose Management | May 07, 2015

Heart Surgeon Shares Effects of Fluoroscopic Radiation Exposure in ORSIF Documentary

Noted surgeon Edward Diethrich’s story reveals serious health risk associated with prolonged exposure

Edward Diethrich, ORSIF, fluoroscopy, radiation, risks, documentary

May 6, 2015 — The Organization for Occupational Safety in Interventional Fluoroscopy (ORSIF) announced the release of a new documentary film on the impact of chronic, low-level exposure to ionizing radiation on physicians that practice interventional medicine in fluoroscopy labs. The documentary features noted heart surgeon Edward Diethrich, M.D., founder of the Arizona Heart Foundation.

Diethrich experienced several health issues directly linked to radiation exposure, including cataracts in both eyes and dense, calcific plaque in his carotid artery. What impacted his career as a surgeon, however, was a diagnosis of an oligodendroglioma – a brain tumor.

Referring to his work as an endovascular surgeon, Diethrich notes in the documentary: "When we started doing these procedures, nobody questioned what we did. The last thing I was thinking about was how much radiation am I exposed to. Being a doctor, my whole motive was to help the patient get well. I didn't think about the hazardous conditions."

Interventional procedures performed in close proximity to radiation sources, such as coronary angioplasty and vascular surgery, as well as those under the electrophysiology and interventional neurology medical specialties, pose an ongoing health risk for fluoroscopy lab employees. In addition, serious orthopedic and musculoskeletal health issues are common among physicians and staff as a result of the heavy, traditional lead-lined protective gear worn in fluoroscopy labs.

"Dr. Diethrich communicates a very powerful message in this video, which is that hospital administrators, staff and regulators need to do a better job of recognizing this hidden hazard and understanding the serious health risks linked to occupational radiation exposure. A collaborative effort is needed as we work together toward creating safer work environments for those professionals whose primary focus is saving the lives of others," stated Michael Seymour, MS, MPH, CIH, ORSIF director of advocacy programs.

Diethrich, who has undergone treatment for his tumor, describes himself as "a living example of excessive radiation and what it can do to tissue," adding, "I think I felt this radiation cannot hurt me. I felt indestructible. Obviously, I didn't know what I was talking about," he added.

The complete video can also be accessed at



Read the article, "5 Technologies to Reduce Cath Lab Radiation Exposure."


For more information:

Related Content

Philips Azurion angiography system, image-guided therapy system.

The Philips Azurion angiography system offers several imaging and software enhancements to aid guidance during complex interventional procedures.

Feature | Angiography | February 07, 2018 | Dave Fornell
Five new angiography systems were launched in 2017 that included improvements to speed workflow and improve both imag
Philips Azurion Platform Improves Clinical Workflow and Staff Experience Benefits
News | Angiography | December 04, 2017
Philips recently announced the results of a comprehensive, independent, two-year study demonstrating the clinical...
Videos | Angiography | November 22, 2017
Shimadzu demonstrated its Trinias Interventional X-ray System at the 2017 Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (
Philips Azurion Image-Guided Therapy Platform Improves Clinical Workflow for Interventional Procedures
News | Angiography | November 15, 2017
Philips announced the results of a comprehensive, independent, two-year study demonstrating the clinical workflow...
Mississippi Surgical and Vascular Center Uses Toshiba Ultimax-i FPD to Save Patients' Limbs
News | Angiography | September 14, 2017
The southern U.S. sees some of the highest numbers of chronic medical conditions, such as peripheral artery disease...
Siemens Healthineers Announces First U.S. Install of Artis Pheno Angiography System
News | Angiography | July 05, 2017
Michigan Medicine recently became the first healthcare institution in the United States to install the Artis pheno, the...
Sponsored Content | Videos | Angiography | June 22, 2017
Shimadzu Medical Systems highlighted new features of its Trinias Interventional X-ray line at the America College of
Sponsored Content | Videos | Angiography | May 03, 2017
Tom Kloetzly, sales and marketing VP for Shimadzu Medical Systems USA, explains the evolution of Shimadzu Corporation...
New Hampshire Hospital Expands Vascular Care with Toshiba Medical's Infinix-I Sky +
News | Angiography | April 27, 2017
Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover, N.H., installed Toshiba Medical’s Infinix-i Sky + angiography system in its...
Louisiana Medical Center Installs First U.S. Toshiba Medical Infinix-i Sky +
News | Angiography | April 18, 2017
April 18, 2017 — Patients at Terrebonne General Medical Center (TGMC) in Houma, La., now have access to safe, high-qu
Overlay Init