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Occupational Radiation Exposure of Electrophysiology Staff with Reproductive Potential and During Pregnancy - EHRA Survey.

INTRODUCTION: Electrophysiology (EP) is a growing field in cardiology, with an increasing involvement of young people. Nevertheless, concerns about radiation exposure and its impact on reproduction and pregnancy may discourage the choice of an EP career.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the level of awareness and main sources of concern about the effects of radiation on reproductive potential and pregnancy, explore the safety measures adopted in different EP Labs and verify the adherence to the current guidelines.

METHODS: An online survey was conducted using the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) infrastructure from April to June 2022.

RESULTS: A total of 252 EP personnel (42% women) participated, from 50 countries and different professional roles. Most participants expressed concerns regarding the effects of radiation on reproductive capacity (67.1%) and offspring diseases (68.2%). Only 37.9% of participants were aware of the EHRA 2017 consensus document about occupational radiation exposure. Most participants (80.9%) considered that occupational radiation during pregnancy is not safe. EP female staff were not allowed to work in the EP lab during pregnancy in 48.1% of cases. Zero-fluoroscopy was the preferred choice to continue working in the EP Lab during pregnancy.

CONCLUSION: EP staff, including both men and women, have concerns about the effects of radiation on reproductive capacity. Despite the recommendations issued by international bodies, implementation of the policies regarding pregnancy and occupational radiation exposure is heterogeneous. Zero-fluoroscopy is the preferred approach to ensure safety during pregnancy in the EP Lab.

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