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Medicine Idle

Doctor Invents 'Zero Gravity' Radiation Suit 83

Posted by samzenpus
from the baron-harkonnen-approved dept.
DrFrasierCrane writes "You think you feel weighed down when your dentist lays that lead apron on you to take X-rays: how about the doctors who deal with radiation treatments and have to wear those aprons all day long? A Dallas, Texas, doctor has created a 'zero gravity' radiation suit for just that problem. From the article: 'Physicians are supposed to wear a lead apron during those procedures. It is back-breakingly heavy and doesn't cover the body completely. The zero gravity suit eliminates the weight and the exposed openings.'"

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Doctor Invents 'Zero Gravity' Radiation Suit

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  • I take it this guy has invented inertial dampeners?

    No? You haven't?

    Then don't call it a zero gravity suit.

  • Good for some things (Score:5, Informative)

    by spineboy (22918) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @11:22AM (#32840430) Journal

    This will be good for doing angios, etc, where they just stand around and watch - which is good, 'cause they just hit the fluoro pedal, and the radiation stream is constant. For stuff like orthopaedics (my specialty), we usually just use spot images, and have to move around a lot, twist the patients legs, reduce fractures, etc, This suit is way too bulky, and wont be useful

    Not a bad idea - I can see it getting used.
    "zero G" - now that just makes me laugh

    • by TheCarp (96830)

      My mother was an X-Ray tech for 25 years (before she went out on disability due to problems with her retinas)

      You say this wont be useful for spot images, but, doesn't the operator usually stand in a shielded area for spot images? Maybe not with portable units but, in dedicated X-Ray rooms.

      Also... while traditional lead suits are not all protective... the unprotected areas (like hands and face) are the ones that are far less likely to be damaged by radiation than say... your kidneys.

      This does seem cool but,

      • Spot images that I'm referring to are by the surgeon, being used to get a trajectory for a screw for instance, and typically they are not shielded, 'cause I have to hold the drill while looking at the x-ray.

  • Zero G what? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AkaXakA (695610) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @11:23AM (#32840434) Homepage

    Zero Gravity? It's hanging from the ceiling!

    In other news, I have a couple of zero-gravity lamps in my house.

    And, finally, on topic: GOOD that finally someone thinks of properly protect doctors, as they're kind of essential to medicine.

    • by Itninja (937614)
      You still have swag lamps? That's so retro! I bet you have orange shag to:)
    • by mark-t (151149)
      It may sound a bit hyped to call it "zero gravity", but in terms of what weight really means, it's actually not an entirely inappropriate term from perspective of the wearer: The wearer can move around in quite massive garb that for him, has no weight.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by igadget78 (1698420)

      Zero Gravity? It's hanging from the ceiling!

      His to-do lists have won Pulitzers.

      He's never neaded lip balm.

      Whatever side of the tracks he's on ... is the right side.

      If he say's something is Zero-Gravity ... it is.

      He is the most interesting man in the world.

    • Wow, seriously? I came up with the idea of adding a layer of lighter-than-air gas, which I think is much better, in about 5 seconds!
      I guess I’m gonna be rich!

  • by M4n (1472737) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @11:26AM (#32840502)
    I've invented a time machine that can take you into the future. You lay on it and close your eyes and when you open them again - pow, you are in the future. Admittedly it looks just like a bed, but appearances can be deceptive.
  • Doctor Invents 'Zero Gravity' Radiation Suit

    Hmmm... that's how all the super villains start. Next it will be "Hand over Fort Knox or I'll float New Jersey off into outer space".

    • by Chrisq (894406)

      Doctor Invents 'Zero Gravity' Radiation Suit

      Hmmm... that's how all the super villains start. Next it will be "Hand over Fort Knox or I'll float New Jersey off into outer space".

      The zero gravity suit eliminates the weight and the exposed openings.

      So it won't be goatse man to the rescue then.

      • by Jedi Alec (258881)

        Next it will be "Hand over Fort Knox or I'll float New Jersey off into outer space".

        Ehmm, wouldn't that be a bit like Angelina Jolie coming over to you and saying "give me your wallet or I will give you a blowjob"?

    • by jd2112 (1535857)

      Hmmm... that's how all the super villains start. Next it will be "Hand over Fort Knox or I'll float New Jersey off into outer space".

      "Hand over Fort Knox AND I'll float New Jersy into space" might work better.

      • by JWSmythe (446288)

            That sounds like a fair deal. Well, there are a few other places I'd ask him to take away too. :)

  • Exaggerated? (Score:2, Informative)

    by goontz (1441623)
    "Back-breakingly heavy"? Admittedly, I've never worn the aprons for more than the few minutes that an X-Ray takes, but they're not that heavy. Heck, it could even have some core-strengthening benefits. What about Law Enforcement or Military Personnel who have to wear bullet-proof vests all day long?

    The video won't load for me right now, but the thing looks pretty cumbersome to have on you all day long and I'd be interested to see how it is attached (or suspended?) and "follows" you as you move around a
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "Back-breakingly heavy"? Admittedly, I've never worn the aprons for more than the few minutes that an X-Ray takes, but they're not that heavy. Heck, it could even have some core-strengthening benefits. What about Law Enforcement or Military Personnel who have to wear bullet-proof vests all day long?

      I think the aprons are - much - heavier than bullet-proof vests because aprons contains a crazy amount of lead, which has a high density, whilst bullet-proof vests are made of kevlar, nano tubes or something else which do not have a high density.

      • Some vests contain trauma plates, in addition to fiber of one sort or another, and those are both heavy and stiff(of course, for exactly this reason, most people who aren't expecting to take any rifle fire on a given day generally skip them).

        More broadly, though, military and law enforcement sometimes put up with excessively weighty gear because it's the best of bad alternatives, not because carrying heavy things is morally salubrious. If it were practical for them to have more armor; but carried for the
    • by kombipom (1274672)

      Doctors are often not as fit as "Law Enforcement or Military Personnel" if you've got a bad back standing around in a lead gown for hours at a time can take quite a toll.

      Having said that this seems like the sort of thing that one interventional radiologist will insist on having installed at huge cost to the hospital and it'll get used twice then pushed off into the corner. We've seen this kind of thing before. The last one was nick-named the pope-mobile, it was basically a lead phone box on wheels with ar

  • I invented the same thing back in the dark ages. I called it "rope with spring" and the patent is still pending.
  • by Nailer235 (1822054) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @11:44AM (#32840716)
    I just invented a zero gravity device for storing clothes. I'm going to call it, a "hanger"
  • You can actually make a radiation shield that lets light pass through it by simply 'impregnating' acrylic with lead? Dangerous radiation is higher in frequency then normal light but is it really possible to block the one and not the other? I don't have a great understanding of how waves behave in the environment, but this stuck out as odd to me.
    • You can actually make a radiation shield that lets light pass through it by simply 'impregnating' acrylic with lead?

      Yes. Such barrier materials are widely commercially available, for exactly this sort of purpose: here's the first hit I found [supertechx-ray.com]. The material is usually horrifically expensive, but that's true of virtually any special-purpose material with scientific or medical applications. Leaded glass is also often used in radiology suites.

      Doesn't anyone ever use Google before asking questions?

    • block, no. Attenuate, which is better than nothing? yes.

    • Lead is (or at least was) a common dopant for many types of optical glasses used to make lenses, prisms, etc. Lead content is also one of the things that differentiates "crystal" (the kind in grandma's china cabinet) from glass. One way to tell if the stuff from grandma is real is to take it home in your carry on luggage. if it is really crystal, TSA will likely make you open the bag for visual inspection because the crystal is opaque to their Xray scanners.
    • A few years ago, we all would have been reading this thread through just such a material. A few of us may still be.

      The reason that CRTs were made of leaded glass was to protect the user from the X-rays one can generate by firing three 40 kilovolt electron guns through a vacuum and into their face. Those let the visible light through just fine, and largely protected users from eyeball cancer.
  • Sounds like the boys from NASA should get hold of this technology, since the guys in long term space are being bombarded on a regular basis. It might cut some of the current suits mass down, or give the mass over to particle stopping material, instead of radition protection. Even in the ISS, the exposure rate must be high.
    • by flink (18449)

      That's funny, because I thought that was exactly what was meant by the headline. To me "Zero Gravity radiation suit" = "Radiation hardened space suit"

  • I was hoping this guy [youtube.com] had added new features to his suits...

  • I think you mean Weight offset, not zero G.

    Are your hangers a Zero G device?

    Other then that, well done.

  • Just make the vest hollow and fill it with helium.

  • Just paint a lambda on the chest, and I think all the the slashdotters will be willing to forget this zero gravity nonsense.
  • And I already thought "W00T! SOON WE'LL BE FLYING IN SUITS WITH SOME RADIATION"!!! Disappointment again... (this conclusion sounds like XKCD, doesn't it? I need hobbies...)

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