Navigation Links
Patients need to know that nuclear medicine procedures can trigger radiation alarms
Date:12/6/2007

RESTON, Va.Twenty million nuclear medicine procedures that detect and evaluate heart disease, brain disorders and cancerand that use radiopharmaceuticals to treat overactive thyroids and some cancersare performed each year. While health care providers in many facilities do provide patients with adequate information about nuclear medicine procedures, theres room for improvement, says a study supported by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality that appears in the December Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

Patients undergoing diagnostic procedures are less likely than patients undergoing therapeutic procedures to be informed that they could activate radiation alarms in public places, said Armin Ansari, a health physicist in the radiation studies branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Ga. We also found that many health care professionals who administer radiopharmaceuticals to patientsor who communicate with them regarding the radiation safety aspects of their procedureshave not had any formal or systematic training in patient education, communications or counseling, he added.

Before we began the study, casual conversations with patients who received diagnostic procedures (largely stress tests) suggested that many receive neither documentation nor counseling. Some are even unaware that their procedure involved trace amounts of radioactive materials and that they could indeed trigger radiation detection equipment in public places, said Ansari. The study, done in collaboration with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), examined the range of patient release procedures and practices among 66 health care facilities in 12 states. Participating facilities perform a range of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures including cardiac stress tests; positron emission tomography (PET), bone, lung and renal scans; thyroid uptake studies; whole body scans; I-131 hyperthyroid treatments; I-131 Bexxar cancer treatments; and brachytherapy. For the study, 89 health care professionals (including doctors, nuclear medicine technologists, radiation safety officers and physicists) were interviewed at large and small hospitals and outpatient-only clinics.

The study indicates that health care professionalsespecially in outpatient facilities and those performing only diagnostic procedurescan benefit from an outreach program, detailing the need to inform and counsel all released patients. Some standardization of basic instructions and documentation given to released patients would also be helpful, said Ansari. Patients should know the importance of following the instructions given to them by their caregivers. They should feel comfortable asking questions and be forthcoming if there are some instructions they may have difficulty following (such as minimizing time in public). If patients plan to travel, they should make sure they have documentation on hand specifying their procedure and that the documentation includes a contact phone number for verification, if necessary, he explained.

SNM has long advocated that its membersin offering high-quality careprovide patients with adequate information. This is particularly necessary in todays high-security environment, where patients of some procedures could incidentally trigger radiation alarms in urban centers, federal buildings or while traveling, said SNM President Alexander J. McEwan, who represents more than 16,000 doctors, technologists and scientists. This study shows that while many do provide information and special instructions to patients, there is still room for improvement and increased awareness, said the professor and chair of the Department of Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, at the University of Alberta, and director of oncologic imaging at Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton, Canada. He noted that the society works closely with the CDC and the U.S. government on the issues discussed within the report and to increase awareness in the medical community.

As this study points out, not all facilities are as well informed as they should be, and they are not doing the best they can to inform patients, says Henry Royal, former SNM president and an expert in radiation safety. It is important that patients who find themselves in these rare situations are fully informed and have contact cards to work cooperatively with security officials, added Royal. At Washington University, we have three preprinted wallet-size travel cards (radioiodine, sestamibi/thallium, miscellaneous) that we give to patients who receive therapeutic doses of I-131 or who are planning to travel in the days to weeks following a diagnostic procedure, said Royal, a professor of radiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and associate director of nuclear medicine at its Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology.

Federal regulations and guidelines describe when and how licensed health care facilities can release patients following a nuclear medicine procedure and address the safety instructions that facilities must provide to patients or to their parents or guardians to ensure that doses to other individuals remain as low as is reasonably achievable. Since 2003, NRC supplemented these guidelines with a notice reminding health care professionals that released patients need to know the importance of following instructions so that a dose to other individuals can be maintained low and that the likelihood of triggering radiation alarms is reduced. The NRC suggests voluntary actions that health care professionals can take with every released patient whose body contains detectable amounts of radiation after receiving diagnostic or therapeutic quantities of radiopharmaceuticals or brachytherapy implants. These actions should include explaining to patients the potential to trigger radiation monitoring alarms and providing them with written information for law enforcement use.


'/>"/>

Contact: Maryann Verrillo
mverrillo@snm.org
703-652-6773
Society of Nuclear Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Fluctuating eye pressure associated with visual field deterioration in glaucoma patients
2. Comparison of obstetric outcomes between on-call and patients own obstetricians
3. Vision restoration therapy shown to improve brain activity in brain injured patients
4. Diabetes appears to increase risk of death for patients with acute coronary syndromes
5. Ambulatory oxygen rarely a benefit in COPD patients without resting hypoxemia
6. Restricting Blood Flow May Help Heart Bypass Patients
7. Patients with Medicaid and those lacking insurance have higher risk of advanced laryngeal cancer
8. Study provides hope that some transplant patients could live free of antirejection drugs
9. Study provides hope that some transplant patients could live free of anti-rejection drugs
10. Longer ambulance journeys boost death risk for seriously ill patients
11. Expenses Overshadow Optimism for Kidney Failure Patients
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... Advanced Inc., a leading provider of travel therapy ... MBA to serve as Advanced Inc.’s Chief Financial Officer, effective December 1, 2016. Jason ... extensive financial and operational leadership experience to Advanced Inc. He began his career in ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... With the number of pain management programs ... patients must find the one that works for them. When an inventor from Suisun ... that worked and decided to share it with others. , He developed a prototype ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... Delaware (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... released a new version of its SaaS LIMS, CloudLIMS Lite. CloudLIMS Lite helps ... sample entry through labeling, storing, shipping and disposal. The new version is a ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, at The ... how this current generation fits into Bible Prophecy. Yisrayl says this generation, known as ... to this conclusion, showing how the details line up exactly with Bible Prophecy – ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... Technologist/Clinical Laboratory Scientist & Author of Type 2 Diabetes: The Owner’s Manual, ... The Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water, Global Climate Change and Your Health ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... , December 2, 2016 - bioLytical lanza el ... directrices de la OMS     Continue Reading ... ... , , ... infecciosas, ha anunciado hoy que está expandiendo el lanzamiento de su INSTI HIV ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... , December 2, 2016 ... global cardiac pacemaker market in its upcoming report titled, "Global Market Study ... a Declining CAGR of -1.4% between 2016 and 2024". The ... Mn in 2015 and this is likely to decline ... revenue, the global cardiac pacemaker market is anticipated to ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... , Dec. 2, 2016  LifeVac, the revolutionary device ... in the Emergency Response Training and Support Services (ERTSS) ... to have LifeVac become part of the ERTSS mission ... and CEO of LifeVac. "Having an established network of ... effectively will help leverage our efforts to spread LifeVac,s ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: