Helping Patients Feel Comfortable During a Cardiac PET Scan

For first-time patients experiencing a cardiac PET scan, they feel a little nervous about the process and what to expect along the way. Patients who aren’t familiar with cardiac PET scans may need a little bit of extra attention to feel comfortable during the scan.

Explain the Minimal Risks

Cardiac PET imaging is a safe process for most people, and there is a minimal amount of radiation exposure during the scan due to the short half-life of Rubidium-82. We let patients know that the small amount of radiation in their system will be eliminated through the kidneys in just over 6 minutes after the exam.

Keep Them Comfortable

Physical comfort is another factor to consider during a patient’s cardiac PET scan. We keep several simple leg and arm cushions at the ready to provide important back support for our patients and make them feel more at ease.

The right lighting and ventilation can play a role in keeping your patients comfortable and even relaxed throughout the scan. We recommended keeping a blanket nearby in the case that a patient is cold.

Encourage Them to Ask Questions

The unknown, lingering questions about what is happening during the scan can make patients feel uneasy. Encourage them to ask any questions that come to mind to help them gain peace of mind. 

An open conversation will help put a patient at ease and encourage them to speak up if they feel uncomfortable or nervous.

Contact Us with More Questions

The right approach can make all of the difference in making your patients feel comfortable and relaxed during their cardiac PET scan. If you have more questions or if you want to learn more, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.

The Dangers of Physician Radiation Exposure During Catheterizations

Over 17 million fluoroscopy-guided interventional procedures occur every year. While these procedures are overall beneficial and help provide research on cognitive function, health effects, cancer, and reproductive effects, there is an increasing concern about radiation exposure that occurs during these appointments.

Cardiology teams are specifically experiencing the effects of scatter radiation as there has been an increase in the sheer number of percutaneous coronary interventions (PCIs) in the past few years. While the benefits of increasing technology undoubtedly help patients through shorter recovery times and fewer complications, the internal teams are suffering from radiation exposure.

What Are the Side Effects?

Interventional cardiologists are exposed to roughly 2,500-10,000 chest X-rays during their career, however, this exposure has a significant impact on the brain. The human brain is subject to higher-intensity exposure, meaning that the brain is exposed to the equivalent of 50,000 chest X-rays for these workers. The specific health impacts of this exposure includes malignant brain tumors, cancer, reduced cognitive function, cataracts, and more. Premature vascular disease is also a potential side effect.

Reducing Exposure

Thankfully, there are methods to reduce radiation exposure. Leaded aprons and personal protection equipment are beneficial, but they also can cause strain on the musculoskeletal system. ALARA, or as low as achievably possible, is another guiding principle to help keep exposure to a minimum. This is something that you can expect during each and every appointment with our team.

The best way to reduce radiation exposure is to spend less time in the cath lab performing diagnostic or unnecessary caths. Cardiac PET has proven effective at preventing caths because of the high quality images available for a patient diagnosis. If you’re interested in learning more about our cardiac PET imaging services, please reach out to us at Cardiac Imaging, Inc.!