Australian researchers have found that veterinarians are taking unnecessary risks with their health. And pregnant doctors are at an especially high risk of miscarriage because of these dangers.
Mixed-animal practitioners reported the highest exposure to anesthetic gases (94 percent of women surveyed). A full 22 percent of those who were exposed to anesthetic gas didn't have waste gas-scavenging systems. In the small animal arena, 90 percent of practitioners reported taking radiographs, and 56 percent of respondents reported physically restraining animals. Only one in five used film holders and lead screens to minimize their exposure to the radiation.
For ways to protect pregnant veterinarians and team members at your practice, check out the Legal Ease column in the May 2008 issue of Veterinary Economics.
The results of the study were gathered via self-administered questionnaire. They were part of the Health Risks of Australian Veterinarians Project study. The research was reported in the April 1 issue of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.