Radiation Blog

Lead Apron – Work Efficiently With Maximum Protection

09.15.20 | Tuesday | Nofit Amir

There has been a significant rise in the use of radiation in different fields, especially in medical interventions. Newer equipment may come with their own set of safety options and potential hazards but the gold standard when it comes to protection from radiation is the lead apron. StemRad has engineered the ultimate radiation safety lead protective gear, a patented design that is innovative, ergonomically conscious, and protects those areas of the body that are more susceptible to the harmful effects of radiation. This powerfully protective suit offers the maximum protection and takes into account the comfort of physicians and radiologists who have to use them for long hours.

Mitigating the risks of harmful X-ray radiation with lead aprons

X-ray radiation is used for a variety of medical purposes like imaging bones and performing fluoroscopies. The usefulness of this type of radiation cannot be understated as it has saved many lives and continues to do so, helping medical practitioners worldwide to make accurate diagnoses and perform minimally invasive surgeries. The extremely low-frequency ionizing radiation is not overly harmful when used right.

However, radiation protection is of the utmost importance for these interventionists as they are exposed to scatter radiation over the long term because of their profession. Lead aprons are typically used to attenuate the radiation and provide safety to those present in imaging labs and operating rooms. These days, lead aprons are made by different companies according to certain design aesthetics. Since lead is heavy and the aprons lined with lead tend to add weight to the user, this results in stress injuries, bad posture, improper protection from shifting the lead apron due to the discomfort, and such. StemRad’s radical solution is a lead apron that takes into account all these difficulties.

lead apron for protection from radiation

Radiation safety – lead apron basics

The density of lead is such that it can absorb X-ray radiation and block it from penetrating further, acting as a highly effective shield. Personal protective gear, which includes the lead apron, is mandatory in radiology rooms. Modern equipment enables the use of X-ray radiation at a fraction of the dosage amounts used decades earlier. However, scatter radiation can still affect the persons present in the room and necessitates the use of lead aprons. The issue of the heaviness of lead aprons is being resolved by some manufacturers with the introduction of lightweight lead. This is usually an apron made with a mixture of lead with other dense materials that provide radiation shielding. The effectiveness of these is debatable, though.

The standard lead aprons are often of two types. One is the 0.25 mm lead eq. apron that can weigh 1-5 kg with attenuation properties at 75% and the other is the 0.55 mm lead eq. apron that can weigh 3-7 kg with attenuation of 99%, the radiation dosage being 50 kVp. There are also lead aprons that come in 0.35 mm lead eq. The use of any type of lead apron should be accompanied by following all the safety and storage protocols recommended.

What are the specs of the patented lead apron for physicians by StemRad?

StemRad is dedicated to providing the best solutions when it comes to radiation safety measures across sectors. The StemRad lead apron is one such product and it is focused primarily on X-ray protection in medical rooms for radiation safety. This particular protective gear is not just a standard lead apron but an entire suit. What the protective lead suit consists of:

  • A visor that is 0.30 mm lead eq. and has an attenuation capacity of 91.5% at 100 kVp
  • An integrated thyroid collar of 0.50 mm lead eq. with 97.2% attenuation at 100 kVp
  • A lead apron that is 0.50 mm lead eq. on the front and sides, while the front overlap area is at 1.0 mm lead eq.
  • An exoskeleton that carries the weight of the entire suit

Besides this, the mobile hanging system is there as a handy donning and doffing solution, with easy transferability to various stations within the hospital unit.

The efficiency of StemRad’s lead apron

The tested and patented lead apron offered by StemRad has a range of advantages for the user, rendering it highly effective for radiation shielding. The integrated thyroid collar and visor ensure that areas around the thyroid glands and the eyes are well-protected. The angular tilt of the visor allows for the individual to comfortably wear prescription glasses. The lead apron itself is of bilayer lead and the design offers the medical-grade protection that it was created for. The proprietary exoskeleton is the one that allows the physician to comfortably perform medical procedures bent over at the operating table without worrying about the weight of the protective suit as it takes on the entire load and makes it virtually weightless for the user. Mobility-related injuries and stress of the spine and shoulders are not a worry anymore with the lead apron’s weight transferred to the exoskeleton. Hip and knee joints in the frame further allow for better movement.

Superior protection with Stemrad’s lead apron

Exposure to X-ray radiation is a major risk to physicians and radiology technicians even if they are not standing directly in the path of the beam. Lead aprons, heavy though they may be, offer the best protection in these scenarios, and StemRad’s invention does that and a lot more. Fluoroscopy protection is now easier with this solution as the wearer can remain safely ensconced inside the lead apron for the many hours typically required to perform medical procedures. There is no scope for reduced radiation protection at all and the users are doubly protected compared to the standard lead aprons that are available in the market. The StemRad lead apron has been field-tested and is tailored for physicians’ use, and it is the only solution that provides near-total freedom of movement. 

Physicians and radiologists do take risks when they work around a field of X-ray radiation. Lead aprons help to drastically cut that risk, and StemRad’s lead protective gear is the best in terms of efficiency, usability, and protection.

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