Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Patients Receiving Treatment With Radioisotopes May Trigger Security Alarms

Date:
August 4, 2006
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Patients receiving treatment with radioisotopes should be warned that they may trigger radiation alarms, say doctors in this week's BMJ. Their advice follows the case of a patient who activated an airport radiation detector six weeks after receiving radioiodine therapy. He was detained and subjected to extensive search and questioning. Luckily he was carrying his treatment card with him and was released after a prolonged delay and considerable embarrassment.

Patients receiving treatment with radioisotopes should be warned that they may trigger radiation alarms, say doctors in this week's BMJ.

Their advice follows the case of a patient who activated an airport radiation detector six weeks after receiacving radioiodine therapy. He was detained and subjected to extensive search and questioning. Luckily he was carrying his treatment card with him and was released after a prolonged delay and considerable embarrassment.

Treatment of disease with radiotherapy is common (usually with x-rays or ingestion of radioisotopes). Radioisotopes are used in many diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. These render patients temporarily radioactive, which can activate radiation detectors.

But doctors show a worrying lack of awareness about such potential problems, argue the authors. As a result, patients are not adequately warned about persisting radioactivity and precautions that need to be taken.

They searched the literature and found four other cases that further highlight the problem. One involved two patients attempting to enter the White House in the US for a public tour, and another involved a man triggering the security alarm at his bank.

Patients receiving Iodine-131 therapy should be particularly careful because they may trigger an alarm up to 95 days after treatment, they add.

Following this incident their Nuclear Medicine department has now amended the radionuclide card given to patients receiving radioiodine treatment to read: "Airport alarms may be triggered for up to 12 weeks after receiving your therapy dose."

"Airports worldwide are deploying more sensitive radiation detection systems and hence one would expect more such cases unless we take responsibility of forewarning our patients," they write. "Hence, we felt it was important to dissipate this information in the hope that this will prevent further unnecessary harassment and embarrassment to patients."

An accompanying editorial suggests that, based on current evidence, doctors should advise patients who are about to receive radioisotopes to avoid close contact with other people, don't try to conceive, and take their radiation certificates when flying.

This practical advice should be incorporated into the new guidelines on the use of radioiodine for thyroid disease that are to be published later this year by the Royal College of Physicians, they conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Patients Receiving Treatment With Radioisotopes May Trigger Security Alarms." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 August 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060804104718.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2006, August 4). Patients Receiving Treatment With Radioisotopes May Trigger Security Alarms. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060804104718.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Patients Receiving Treatment With Radioisotopes May Trigger Security Alarms." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060804104718.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Here are three things you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak's progression this week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 28, 2014) The World Health Organisation has called for the regulation of electronic cigarettes as both tobacco and medical products. Ciara Lee looks at the impact of the move on the tobacco industry. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) CDC director Tom Frieden says the Ebola outbreak is even worse than he feared. But he also said there's still hope to contain it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins