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Program Information

Release of Radioactive Patients / Patient Dose Monitoring Software

D Gress

D Hintenlang

D Gress1*, D Hintenlang2*, (1) MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, (2) Univ Florida, Gainesville, FL

MO-A-Salon CD-1 Monday 7:30:00 AM - 9:30:00 AM Room: Salon CD

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission provides several acceptable models for release of radioactive patients from radiation safety restrictions. The more computationally rigorous models can be used instead of traditional “rule of thumb” models to significantly reduce inconvenience to the patient and procedure cost. With hospital resources becoming scarcer and scrutiny toward radiation safety practices higher than ever, understanding and exploiting NUREG-1556 radioactive patient release models can provide benefit to all stakeholders.

Medical physicists are consulted for leadership in many issues associated with patient dose. This includes measurement, interpretation and more recently, tracking of patient dose. The integration of the collected data with patients' medical records continues to evolve with the medical physicist playing a central role in the success of these efforts. Commonly used metrics and their applicability for commonly used imaging techniques are discussed. The recording and disposition of these metrics continues to evolve. The recognized need to track patient dose has lead both equipment vendors and independent software developers to introduce systems capable of recording and providing statistical analysis of patient doses delivered during imaging studies. A review of some commonly available patient dose tracking software systems is provided. Requirements and procedures for the review of, and incorporation of patient dose into patient records is discussed with illustrative examples.

This session highlights two critical and timely issues in radiation safety; release of radioactive patients from medical facilities and lifestyle restrictions, and patient dose tracking in x-ray imaging. Fundamental physics and safety concepts are discussed and illustrated in clinical examples, along with more subtle but important considerations for the practicing medical physicist.

Learning objectives:

1. Review risk-based goals of appropriately timed release of radioactive patients from medical facilities and lifestyle restrictions
2. Understand the reasonable patient release models provided by NRC guidance, and their differences
3. Introduce the various patient-specific lifestyle considerations that can be used as a basis for accelerated release
4. Review clinical case(s) demonstrating the impact of utilizing reasonable assumptions for accelerating radioactive patient release
5. Understand regulatory requirements for recording and reporting patient dose associated with imaging studies
6. Understand the applications and limitations of the various metrics used to quantify patient dose
7. Develop an appreciation for the capabilities and limitations of commercially available patient dose tracking software packages
8. Identify techniques and the steps required to include patient dose data in patients' medical records


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