[ RadSafe ] Traveling After Nuclear Medicine Procedure May no t fly

Peter.Vernig at med.va.gov Peter.Vernig at med.va.gov
Mon Jul 25 09:24:48 CDT 2005

Sandy and group

Where have you guys been?  This has been thrashed out with medical HPs for
about 3 years now.  Two years or so ago a reporter was stopped on the
Washington DC Metro because she'd had a scan in the morning and then
preceded on to work.

FYI There are detectors at the borders and Customs Stations for
international flights.  As yet as far as I know there are not detectors in
domestic passenger screening.  Possible exception of Newark Airport.  I got
an unconfirmed report about radiation screening from there.

Yes everything we can do in the form of a letter or card can be duplicated
by a terrorist organization, to include a confirmation number.  Many of us
provide them.  The HIPPA law may restrict confirmation of the information by
hospital personnel.  I have been grappling with that problem.

Customs and Boarder Patrol who are the most common ones to deal with this
have some isotope identification capability and apparently have been well
trained.  Previously they were supposed to call for confirmation of a letter
or card.  Now apparently that is a last resort and very rare event.  Between
isotope ID and using a meter to check the passenger versus the luggage they
seem to be able to distinguish a valid patient.

By most reports the CBPS personnel are also courteous and professional.  I
had a disturbing report that one patient was knocked to the ground  by a
local law enforcement officer, jurisdiction was not identified.

There was also a report about sex months ago about a California rural fire
dept. that detected radiation a couple times and isolated it at a stalled
car.  Sheriffs deputies responded [reportedly 10 to 20 cars and tied up the
highway for hours], of course that was a NM patient's car.

So if you plan to travel out of the country you should ask questions about
the procedure and retention of the isotope.  A day trip to Canada or Mexico
can catch even a Tc-99m scan patient.

Practices in other countries of course vary a lot.  I-131 for
hyperthyroidism and thallium-201 for heart studies can stay around for a
long time, maybe a month.  If a heart study and international travel are in
your plans I suggest you inquire about a study using Tc-99m.

Any opinions in this e-mail are solely those of the author, and are not
represented as those of the VA Eastern Colorado HCS, the Dept. of Veterans
Affairs, or the US Government.

Peter G. Vernig, Radiation Safety Officer, MS-115, VA Eastern Colorado
Health Care System, 1055 Clermont St. Denver, CO 80220,
peter.vernig at med.va.gov, Phone= 303.399.8020 x2447; Fax = 303.393.5026,
alternate fax, 303.393.5248

"...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is lovely, whatever is
admirable, if anything is found to be excellent or praiseworthy, let your
mind dwell on these things."

Paul of Tarsus

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl]On
Behalf Of Sandy Perle
Sent: Friday, July 22, 2005 12:21 PM
To: loc at icx.net; radsafe at radlab.nl; Mccormick, Luke I
Subject: Re:[ RadSafe ] Traveling After Nuclear Medicine Procedure May
not fly

On 22 Jul 2005 at 14:11, Mccormick, Luke I wrote:

> The Nuc. Med ID card for travelling patients is a great idea! 

My primary concern when "evidence" is provided and accepted is that 
many of these items of "proof" can be forged. I cringe every time I 
read about public, and political outrage when "elderly" or other 
individuals are searched at airport screening checkpoints. What is so 
outrageous is that anyone who really wants to hurt us is going to try 
and use individuals who aren't going to trigger an extended check. In 
my opinion, profile passengers and other individuals, and perform an 
inspection whenever any indicator shows evidence of something that 
should be visually checked. 

If we don't, then we're going to get hit over and over again. Look at 
the "norm" and look again. In my opinion, this is just common sense. 

Sandy Perle
Senior Vice President, Technical Operations
Global Dosimetry Solutions, Inc.
2652 McGaw Avenue
Irvine, CA 92614 

Tel: (949) 296-2306 / (888) 437-1714  Extension 2306
Fax:(949) 296-1144

E-Mail: sperle at dosimetry.com
E-Mail: sandyfl at earthlink.net 

Global Dosimetry Website: http://www.dosimetry.com/ 
Personal Website: http://sandy-travels.com/ 

You are currently subscribed to the RadSafe mailing list

Before posting a message to RadSafe be sure to have read and understood the
RadSafe rules. These can be found at:

For information on how to subscribe or unsubscribe and other settings visit:

More information about the RadSafe mailing list