Answer to Question #11644 Submitted to "Ask the Experts"
The following question was answered by an expert in the appropriate field:
Is there any law that would apply to allowing a family member in an interventional radiology suite during a procedure?
Yes, the law requires that any member of the public (such as a family member) cannot be exposed to more than 1.0 millisievert (mSv) in a year from a facility's use of radiation. There may be a good chance that this legal limit could be exceeded for a family member standing in the interventional radiology suite, where a fluoroscopic x-ray machine is guiding the operational procedure being performed.
The family member's radiation exposure will depend upon (1) the design of the interventional radiology suite, (2) the procedure being done, (3) the time it takes to do the surgery, and (4) the distance the person would stand from the patient. The hospital's radiation safety officer would have to determine if the family member would exceed the limit of 1.0 mSv.
Also, whether or not a family member will be allowed in the suite will depend on the hospital's policy and upon the doctor's approval. The interventional radiology suite is an operating room where sterile conditions are required, which is also an important factor in whether a family member is allowed to be present.
John Hageman, CHP