[ RadSafe ] I-131 Pt and concerns

Brennan, Mike (DOH) Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV
Wed Jan 4 12:53:06 CST 2012

I am not a doctor, and do not play a doctor on TV.  I am certainly not
offering medical advice.  There are a couple of reasonable radiation
protection driven actions that make sense.  

If she is breast feeding, she should pump and store, and not breast feed
her baby for some period of time after the procedure (her radiologist
should be able to tell her how long).

Shower frequently to remove iodine that expresses on her skin.

Laundering clothing should be adequate to remove the iodine from the
clothing, as iodine is highly soluble in water.  

For the first several days after the procedure, she should avoid
skin-to-skin contact, not just with her baby, but with other members of
the family.  An impressive amount of iodine can cross over to other
people.  When she holds her baby, a couple layers of blanketing should
do, and as I recall the half-life of a baby blanket between coming in
contact with the baby and needing to be changed because something got on
it is in the minutes, or hours at most.  

The best advice still comes from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the
Universe": "Don't panic!"

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Rees, Brian G
Sent: Wednesday, January 04, 2012 10:32 AM
To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List
Subject: [ RadSafe ] I-131 Pt and concerns

I have a friend, who has a friend that will soon be undergoing I-131
therapy for a metastasized thyroid Ca.  The Pt is a new mother, and went
to the www to read about I-131, radiation, etc., and is now convinced
she needs to throw away her used clothing, sleep in a different part of
the house (the basement), and not have any contact with her baby for a
month (among other things)... hopefully she isn't buying over-priced
vitamins... but anyway...

I did go through the archives, but haven't found any what I would
consider to be good, authoritative and informative sources of
information regarding post-therapy care and precautions, but don't have
time to go through all the archives either (!).  Recommendations?

I don't know how much activity they are planning to administer (assuming
100-200 mCi or so), or other details (she's a friend of a friend...),
but one thing she is particularly concerned about is holding her baby at
some point in an infant carrier (the kind that holds the baby against
the chest).  Other than making all kinds of assumptions myself, is there
an accessible program that I could use to calculate exposures for after
a week, 2 weeks, etc., to help inform the mother of what doses would be,
rather than having her full of fear?

Yes, I know it's to help the mother, and that an infant thyroid is
vulnerable, and that her MD should be making recommendations, and that
I'm not an MD, etc., but I sure hate to see a distorted view taken of
the potential risks from this procedure.

Thanks in advance,
Brian Rees, NRRPT, CHP

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