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:2/24/2017)... McKinney, Texas (PRWEB) , ... February 24, 2017 , ... ... south to The Medical Center at Craig Ranch building at 8080 State Highway 121, ... Ranch Medical District with easy access to Highway 121. , As the practice has ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... , ... February 24, 2017 , ... The California ... conference convening academic faculty engaged in or interested in palliative care education and research. ... will be held in North County San Diego on Sept. 28 and 29, 2017, ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... Indiana Fiber Network (IFN) President and CEO Kelly ... Dyer started as the Chairman of the Management Committee when IFN was originally ... including the recruitment of investor/owners and development of the business plan. He became ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... Congratulations to Head Over Heels’ ... February 12th. Ms. Esparza qualified into this prestigious status after winning the ... Las Vegas, Nevada. Frida is one of approximately 25 gymnasts in the nation ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... On February ... a letter to withdraw previous guidance issued by the Obama Administration ... guidance issued in May 2016 by the Obama Administration came in response to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... , Feb. 23, 2017 The ... of the PhenoTest BC Kit, performed on the ... identify organisms that cause bloodstream infections and provide ... to respond to (antibiotic sensitivity). The test also ... provide this important information, which can guide antibiotic ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... 2017  Directors from Pharma To Market Pty Ltd and Ador ... resulting in the founding of Pharma To Market Pte Ltd, based ... are pleased to announce their expansion into Asia ... . The company are delighted to appoint Joelle Chia ... Singapore based entity. Joelle brings with her an ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... Medivir AB (Nasdaq Stockholm: MVIR) ... Board of Directors that will be submitted to the ... representatives of the company,s three largest shareholders at the ... accepted a seat on the Nomination Committee, and the ... Nomination Committee was as follows:  ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: