Referral to radioisotope examination as a source of additional radiation exposure for staff


Background: Every exposure of human to ionizing radiation increases the likelihood of deterministic sequelae. At the same time, it is associated with the risk of stochastic effects. Consequently, this can lead to cancer, mainly of the hematopoietic system. Organs or tissues show a different affinity for gamma radiation. There are many technical and organizational measures which minimize the impact of this radiation on people and especially on the staff of the nuclear medicine laboratory.

Materials and methods: The study was based on 208 referrals to the scintigraphic laboratory, which were executed between 26.09.2018 and 13.11.2018 in the Department of Nuclear Medicine of Military Medical Academy Memorial Teaching Hospital of the Medical University of Lodz – Central Veterans` Hospital. Referrals concerned scintigraphic tests of bones, salivary glands, parathyroid glands, myocardial perfusion, somatostatin receptor analogues, renoscintigraphic and lymphoscintigraphic tests. In case of each referral, radiation power was measured at a distance of approx. 10 cm with the use of a calibrated Geiger-Muller detector. Measurements were performed immediately after the end of the last examination each day. Daily measurement of the background radiation dose was also a standard procedure. For calculations, this value was averaged to 0.18µSv/h. Based on the above measurements, a statistical analysis of all data was performed. Obtained data was also analysed after it was ascribed to the person complexing radiopharmaceuticals on a given day. The annual dose for a radiopharmacist is 0.12 mSv, for a technician 0.35 mSv and for a doctor 0.45 mSv.

Results: The average radiation dose received every working day by the staff was 11.49 µSv/h. After considering the average distance from the potential source of exposure (50 cm), this power decreased to 0.46µSv/h. In order to calculate the quarterly and annual radiation dose, it was assumed that the employee worked 250 days a year. Conclusions: Medical records may pose an additional personnel exposure to ionizing radiation. Physicians are the most vulnerable group of employees. The way of radiopharmacists work contributes to the contamination of medical records.

Authors: Pawel Gadzicki, Wiesław Tryniszewski, Michał Świeczewski
; Full Source: Nuclear medicine review. Central & Eastern Europe 2020;23(1):21-24. doi: 10.5603/NMR.a2020.0003.