[ RadSafe ] cross contamination with I-131
FISHER Spencer -NUCLEAR
spencer.fisher at opg.com
Fri Dec 2 12:29:20 CST 2011
We have seen this at the Nuclear Power Plants. Where one person has the treatment and the spouse gets contaminated through intercourse or kissing. And then there are cats receiving thyroid therapy contaminating their owners after the cat has received thyroid therapy..
Under Canadian regulations, the Nuclear Medicine department has to be monitored etc, but the washrooms in the corridor are considered public area. We had problems with male patients contaminating the floor, and then other male patients getting the contamination on their shoes.
And finally, when performing thyroid ablation with Iodine 131, the workers need to perform bioassay measurements. And twice in the 23 years that I was doing this type of work, I found that I had picked up contamination. Both times from the administration of the Iodine in liquid form, rather than in capsule form.
And one more anecdote. One year, at Christmas time, I went to Florida and left someone else in charge. Over the Christmas holiday, we normally did not do therapies, but this year we had one. So my alternate gave it out and left the patient to enjoy Christmas alone. When he returned, everything was contaminated. It turned out that over the holidays, with no procedures, patients, the water pressure in the hospital went up. Every time the patient flushed the toilet, there was huge aerosol spray of contamination.
Spencer M Fisher
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