The G-LIFT has been designed to solve the well-established problem of musculoskeletal strain resulting in recurrent discomfort and possible long-term disability from the consequence of wearing lead aprons (1, 2, 3).
Designed by a very experienced fabricator with assistance from an interventional cardiologist and orthopedic surgeon:
Handcrafted using only the finest materials, each G-LIFT is built to last for years with daily use. After sustaining a potential career-ending traumatic shoulder injury, an interventional cardiologist turned to a friend, who is a fabricator, and his orthopedic surgeon to help design a device that would allow him to continue his lead.
Following extensive shoulder surgery, it became apparent that the G-LIFT not only allowed this busy interventional cardiologist to continue wearing lead on a daily basis but also provided a more important long-term benefit. After wearing the G-LIFT for several weeks, the device was found to relieve the chronic neck and back discomfort caused by years of wearing lead.
A utility patent was filed, and years later, the G-LIFT has now been used by several interventional cardiologists and Cath lab personnel with similar, positive reviews.
The rigid back support system and lumbar support pad of the G-LIFT provide a secure fit while improving posture and ventilation when wearing a lead apron.
The concerning common position of bending over and looking up at a monitor while wearing a lead apron during a procedure appears to be the main culprit for more serious cervical spine problems (4).
In collaboration with the School of Health and Applied Human Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, a study is underway to monitor several muscle groups using surface EMG analysis to study the musculoskeletal effects of wearing lead aprons and to scientifically study the weight transfer of wearing the G-LIFT.
Initial data indicates that there is a significant reduction in the lower trapezius region for the wearer of a G-LIFT wearing a lead apron vs. an individual wearing a lead apron alone. A grant proposal is being written with plans for a more extensive evaluation.
With this information, future development and improvements can be made so we may better understand the dynamics of wearing lead aprons, and the potential benefit of weight reduction or force transfer devices.