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Blue-and-white revolution: Assuta launches robot to reduce radiation in the operating room

Dr. Avishag Laish-Farkash

Radiation can cause tumors, cataracts, cognitive decline and more to the medical staff who are exposed to it regularly. Now, an Israeli technological breakthrough could offer protection and reduce the risks of the operating room.

And Samson Assuta Ashdod University Hospital is the first Israeli hospital to implement it.

Over the years, many companies have looked to improve the protective measures available to medical staff. Generally, to protect against radiation, teams end up in various metal and lead smocks or aprons. They are cumbersome and don't protect the whole body. They also do not protect everyone in the room: nurses, anesthesiologists, and others, who don't receive them.

Now, a new device developed by Israel's Radiaction Medical is available. Called Radiaction, the team developed a plug-and-play accessory to C-arm systems, offering head-to-toe protection for everyone in the room.

The device has already received CE marking and FDA clearance and is currently marketed in North America and the European Union.

A team at Assuta Ashdod, led by Dr. Avishag Laish-Farkash, director of the hospital's Electrophysiology and Pacing Unit, has been instrumental in testing and proving the device's success.

First, Farkash and her team tested Radiaction in the lab and then in the operating room, finding that using it decreases more than 90% of the exposure of staff members to radiation. The research was recently published in the peer-reviewed American Heart Journal.

The study was "a very comprehensive, prospective study" done in the electrophysiology lab, Farkash describes. They placed highly sensitive sensors around the room to measure the radiation levels. Radiaction was not used for any surgeries for three weeks. The staff just wore lead aprons. After that, they operated the same way and with the same sensors for three additional weeks using Radiaction.

A hundred and ten patients were included in the control and study groups.

"Every sensor showed a significant reduction in radiation," says Farkash. "We saw that the device was very comfortable for the patient too. We believe this is revolutionary."

Dr. Avishag Laish-Farkash

Assuta Ashdod is also the first hospital in Israel to purchase and use the system. The team is undergoing one more experiment and will use it full-time in its operating rooms.

Next, Farkash says they plan to test a thinner metal-led apron.

"Radiaction is a blue-and-white breakthrough that could affect operating rooms," she concludes. "For the first time: A simple-to-use and patient-safe system was found that minimizes radiation exposure of the medical staff during surgeries. This is another example of Israeli entrepreneurs thinking outside the box."


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