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Old February 18th, 2010, 10:58 AM   #1
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Medical lasers- can they damage xha1?

Does anyone know if medical laser equipment can damage video cameras? And if so, what type or circumstance?

We have been shooting medical videos, mostly mock procedures, because we had a bad experience with a tattoo removal laser a few years ago (this was shot with a different camera). At the last shoot we did, we actually shot several laser procedures- some that used radiofrequency energies, and some that were solid-state lasers- the erbium yag laser for instance. I was very timid doing this but the staff insisted the lasers would not damage the camera, and they didn't. Does anyone know if there are certain types of lasers or other circumstances that can damage video cameras?
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Old February 18th, 2010, 01:45 PM   #2
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Hi Whitney..............

The only time a medical laser could damage a video camera is under exactly the same circumstances it could damage an individuals eyes: either it is pointed directly into the lens or inadvertantly (or deliberately) reflected off a suitable surface ditto.

Staff handling these things wear goggles/ glasses designed to drastically cut any light of the appropriate wavelength(s) in the event it should "escape", tho' that is pretty unlikely.

There are so many interlocks and safety mechanisms built into these things nowadays (if they're working, of course) that the chance of an emitter firing whilst not adjacent to human tissue (which is an extremely poor reflector, hence why they work so well) is remote in the extreme.

If the camera operators are equipped with the necessary safety equipment and the procedures being videoed are "real" (ie, bods aren't just "larking about") then I can see very little chance of either operators or camera coming to grief.


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Last edited by Chris Soucy; February 18th, 2010 at 03:20 PM. Reason: Whoops.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 09:40 PM   #3
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That's kind of what I was thinking too. Thanks for your input
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Old February 26th, 2010, 02:09 AM   #4
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Also depends on the kind of laser and the wavelength of the laser that is used. Short wavelength lasers like the excimer (193 nm, refractive laser surgery like PRK, Lasik etc) is no problem but larger wavelength lasers like argon or diode lasers (for diabetic retinopathy) are dangerous when they reflect on metal surgical instruments. Use an appropriate filter to protect the video-chip.

Best regards,

Robert Wijdh
Ophthalmologist
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Old March 1st, 2010, 11:39 AM   #5
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Do you know what kind of filter to use?
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 01:47 PM   #6
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That depends on the wavelength of the laser. The filter should be the same as the filter in the protection goggles of the medical personnel. The most risk is in the coagulating lasers (argon, krypton, dye, holmium and gallium arsenide). The photo disruptive lasers (Nd:YAG, Er:YAG and the femtosecond laser) and the ablative lasers (ArF) are usually (at least in ophthalmic use) not dangerous for bystanders.

Best regards,

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