[ RadSafe ] Insulin Pumps and X-rays

Brad Keck bradkeck at mac.com
Sun Dec 11 11:51:32 CST 2016

Hi James,

There is  very good reason to remove the pumps from strong magnetic fields (MRI as well as the fields near a LINAC) and from therapy levels of ionizing radiation.  Failures of the pump have been observed at radiation doses of several Gy and higher.  (Recall that silicon chips absorb radiation much strongly than human tissue.)

Of course, as you note, diagnostic nuclear medicine or even CT are well below this dose potential and failure under these conditions have not been observed as far as I am aware.  However, the manufacturers are recommending  an abundance of caution on this topic.   

In the case of an individual patient having a Tc procedure - one might argue - the risk of removal may exceed the risk of leavng the pump attached, but I shall leave this topic to you and your attending physicians 😊

Hope this is helpful,

Bradly D. Keck, PhD, CHP

Sent from my iPad

> On Dec 9, 2016, at 2:46 PM, Dewolfe, James <James.Dewolfe at childrenscolorado.org> wrote:
> Multiple manufacturers of insulin pumps used by diabetics warn not to expose the pump to x-rays, including diagnostic x-rays and CTs. One manufacturer warns not to wear them during nuclear medicine exams. They warn to keep them out of the same room as an x-ray machine (even dental units), so this is not a warning about the impact on image quality. Does anyone understand how these devices could be so sensitive to small amounts of radiation? I was asked about this today by a radiology technologist, and I was unable to answer his question. I am skeptical that these pumps could be that sensitive and still function in the real world with fluctuating background radiation.
> James DeWolfe | Health Physicist | Children's Hospital Colorado
> 13123 East 16th Avenue, Box B125  |  Aurora, CO 80045
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