[ RadSafe ] Fwd: Insulin Pumps and X-rays

Dewolfe, James James.Dewolfe at childrenscolorado.org
Mon Dec 12 13:22:06 CST 2016

Thanks to everyone for feedback. 

It seems like an exceedingly bad idea to start applying "abundance of caution" (basically ALARA) to medical devices. I do hope they have more evidence for this than a reported failure during a radiation therapy at doses likely 1000 times higher than would be seen from scattered radiation from diagnostic x-ray and nuclear medicine patients. Logic would dictate that if the manufacturer is warning that their device could fail from radiation levels permissible to the general public and encountered in everyday situations, then they are basically saying the device is unsafe for general use. I would think regulatory bodies (In Colorado, it's the US FDA) should require the manufacturer to determine a safety level rather than permitting these unquantified warnings.

James DeWolfe 

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu [mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Chris Alston
Sent: Sunday, December 11, 2016 11:16 AM
To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Fwd: Insulin Pumps and X-rays


What, if any, is their advice *in re* travel by commercial airliner, especially very long-range transpolar flights?  If they do not advise against it, I'd take their advice about diagnostic radiations such as those found in ordinary radiography and nuclear medicine, with a grain or two of NaCl.

Maybe you could get a demo pump, set it up on a fluoro table, let the beam run on it until it had a bit of a toasting, but less than, say, 200 cGy, and see what happens.  Might make a nice note for *Operational Health Physics*, etc.

> On Dec 9, 2016, at 2:46 PM, Dewolfe, James <James.Dewolfe@
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

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE:  This e-mail, including any attachments, is for the sole use of the intended recipient and may contain confidential and privileged information.  If you are not an intended recipient, or the person responsible for delivering this message to an intended recipient, you are hereby notified that reading, copying, using or distributing this message is prohibited. If you are not an intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message from your computer system.

More information about the RadSafe mailing list