Evaluation of Fluoroscopic Cases Qualifying as Potential Fluoroscopic Sentinel Events

Brent D. Weinberg, Awais Vance, Gary M. Arbique, Jeffrey B. Guild, Jon Anderson, David P. Chason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Rationale and Objectives: To address the risk of radiation injury during interventional procedures, the Joint Commission has defined prolonged fluoroscopy resulting in a cumulative skin dose of 15 Gy or more to a single field as a reviewable sentinel event. The goal of this work is to present a system for identifying potential fluoroscopic sentinel events (FSE) and describing common case characteristics. Materials and Methods: Criteria based on fluoroscopic time (FT) > 150 minutes and reference air kerma (RAK) > 6 Gy were used to identify potential sentinel events. Case information including procedure type, number of procedures, and radiation dose parameters was recorded. Peak skin dose (PSD) was calculated by a medical physicist. Values were compared between procedure types and the relationship between FT, RAK, and PSD was evaluated. Results: Between 2008 and 2011, 183 events exceeding the investigation criteria were identified in three interventional categories: cardiology (54%), neuroradiology (31%), and vascular (16%). The average number of procedures/patient was 1.7 ± 0.1, with the majority (59.6%) having undergone only one procedure. Most cases could be identified using the RAK criterion alone (96.7%). Based on the PSD/RAK ratio, a threshold RAK of 7.5 Gy would effectively identify all cases that would exceed 15 Gy in PSD. Conclusion: Radiation delivered during interventional cases can place patients at risk of cutaneous radiation injury and potential sentinel events. Using appropriate thresholds to determine which cases require detailed investigation allows efficient utilization of department resources for identifying sentinel events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-462
Number of pages6
JournalAcademic radiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2013


  • Fluoroscopic time
  • Peak skin dose
  • Radiation overdose
  • Reference air kerma
  • Sentinel event

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluation of Fluoroscopic Cases Qualifying as Potential Fluoroscopic Sentinel Events'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this