[ RadSafe ] I-131 Patients and Taxi Driver
crispy_bird at yahoo.com
Sun Feb 24 11:55:21 CST 2008
I have a spreadsheet that allows one to calculate the number of days of restrictions that therapy patients should follow upon release for the licensee. It was developed by Dr. Pat D. Zanzonico, one of the committee members of NCRP 155, "Management of Radionuclide Therapy Patients." I would also recommend getting this publication. If you or anyone else on the list would like a copy, let me know off-list.
"Michael, Joey L" <joey-michael at uiowa.edu> wrote:
These types of situations come up often. I have been involved in cases
where the patient wanted to go to the hotel so they could follow the
rules for being an outpatient. In one case the woman had small children
at home and only one bathroom. Its fairly simple to run a calculation
and see that no one at the hotel would get much dose. Reg Guide 8.39
has a simple method for doing this, and has guidance on calculating
internal dose due to contamination.
The thing that makes me squirm is the what if question. What if the
hotel finds out that the hospital released a patient that has now
contaminated their hotel room. Its perfectly legal, but do you want to
answer those questions in the newspapers.
I also have a hard time reconciling the release level for removable
contamination (200 DPM/100 cm^2). If its in our facility we have to
clean it to below that level, if its in the patient's home, car, taxi,
or hotel room, there is no contamination limit.
It makes it difficult to explain the room prep to inpatients. I usually
tell them that by regulation, I have to make the room as though they
were never even here after they leave.
Also, the calcs in 8.39 assume an average distance of 1 m, and 0.25
occupancy. I ran some numbers for a school bus driver getting 10 mCi,
and made changed the distance to 1 ft, for 1.5 hrs/day. It worked out
to a max dose of about 311 mrem. Well below the 500 mrem limit, but
still surprisingly high.
Health Physicist Assistant
Health Protection Office
The University of Iowa
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"Part of human nature resents change, loves equilibrium, while another part welcomes novelty, loves the excitement of disequilibrium. There is no formula for the resolution of this tug-of-war, but it is obvious that absolute surrender to either of them invites disaster."
-J. Bartlet Brebner
John Jacobus, MS
Certified Health Physicist
e-mail: crispy_bird at yahoo.com
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