- 0.5 mm Pb acrylic head shield wraps around the front and sides of the head, reducing dose to eyes and head far better than lead glasses and mobile shields. 5 6 1 4
- Arm flaps and low leg protection block exposure to areas not covered by conventional aprons. 1
- The ZG is weightless to the operator. The abundance of shielding is supported by a “zero-gravity” mechanism which allows freedom of movement in all spatial planes. 7
- Complete freedom of movement is further provided by the magnetic attachment mechanism which allows instantaneous engagement and disengagement of the interventionalist from the device while remaining sterile. The operator may come and go as they please, repeatedly and instantly. 7
Interventionalists perform a physically demanding service with long hours, burdensome weight-bearing of aprons, and poor ergonomics, all of which can be quite taxing during their long careers. Radiation accumulation over many decades may result in ocular injuries or cancer, before or long after retirement. The Zero-Gravity system mitigates the detractors to work on a daily basis as well as over a long career by improving the ergonomics through its weightlessness and reducing radiation exposure to extremely low levels over most of the body including the
head and eyes, preventing these factors from hindering case load, causing disability, or shortening careers. A great amount of protective lead and leaded acrylic shield surround the body and head and extend below the knees, but is weightless to the operator while they have great freedom of motion or easily come and go from the device with preservation of sterility.
Musculoskeletal problems are highly prevalent in interventionalists as reported in several studies of cardiologists and interventional radiologists. An excellent recent assessment of 640 interventionalists revealed a prevalence of MSK symptoms in 88%, of which 58% were attributed to work-related activities (Morrison, et al [ https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1051044320302025]). These injuries can be debilitating, causing chronic pain and lost time at work, or even be career-ending or requiring major career shift. “Lightweight” (usually non-lead) aprons have provided very disappointing and poorly regulated or labelled protective function (see other reports and references cited on this website), and often don’t prevent injury. Older interventionalists may wish to bring their years of experience and knowledge to patients but unable to bear the physical demands. Since some of these injuries are due to chronic degeneration related to work activities, the best time to address them would be before they manifest. A culture of good ergonomic hygiene may improve quality of life, patient care, and revenue production, and enable fulfilling practices well into the later years.
The Zero-Gravity supports all of the weight while allowing motion in all directions, making the lead weightless to the user’s body. No added strain is placed on the spine or joints. Many users report feeling that their days are easier, and they are more motivated to perform their late cases, or an additional case each day. Reduction of strain and injury may prevent lost work days and could prolong careers. Many users feel they have one less thing to worry about for their futures.
The Zero-Gravity has a unique attachment system utilizing a magnet and allowing the operator to come and go from the device instantly and repeatedly, while maintaining full sterility of the device, operator, and field. The operator is never
tethered to a certain area as if on a leash, providing a sense of freedom from weight and ease of movement that is immediately noticeably different from usual.
Since the ZG is weightless to the operator, abundant protective material was packed into it to provide a degree of shielding which is far to great to ever bear on their own body. The apron material contains substantial lead in its composite, providing a broad energy spectrum of protection and labelling accuracy. The lead is 1 mm thick, resulting in 1/10 of the operator exposure measured at the chest level compared to the mean of multiple conventional garments tested in a lab study (https://www.jvir.org/article/S1051-0443(16)30441-9/abstract). ( The lead-acrylic head shield wraps around the front and sides of the interventionalist, shielding the head and eyes as they move around to work. Whereas conventional aprons have a large arm-hole which often is in direct line with the leftward-directed scatter field, allowing it to reach the torso, the Zero-Gravity has arm flaps covering the hole and the proximal arms. The Zero-Gravity is also quite long compared to conventional aprons, extending well below the knees. The sensitive hematopoietic tissues which are present in the proximal long bones, axial skeleton, and extending to base of skull are therefore shielded far better than with conventional systems.