The Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors (CRCPD) has published guidance on the tracking of dose in fluoroscopy. Both a brief outline and a more descriptive white paper are available.
Basically, any patient who experienced fluoro time in excess of one hour should be notified and tracked for post-procedure erythema. Facilities should follow up by telephone approximately 3 weeks after the procedure to ascertain whether there is any evidence of a radiation induced injury. This will assure that prompt medical care will be delivered if necessary.
Other threshold criteria besides simple fluoro time are also discussed. The linked documentation in the above paragraph should be of great assistance in crafting a facility-specific policy to address this important issue.
The best guidance I have found regarding the imaging of pregnant or potentially pregnant women with x-rays is from this ACR Practice Guideline.
From the Guideline:
“If a patient can reliably answer that 1) she cannot be pregnant (for example, she is not sexually active, or she is using an effective form of birth control, or she is biologically incapable of conceiving) and that 2) she had a recent complete menstrual period, then it is reasonable to proceed with a medically indicated diagnostic X-ray test of the abdomen or pelvis.”
Two sample forms are included at the bottom of the ACR guidance. These forms could be used to draft facility-specific consent forms. The first could be used to document a negative response to pregnancy, the second for performing procedures on known pregnant women.
A month ago I wrote about the installation of a radon mitigation system in my home. Before the install, the level in the basement measured 12.1 pCi/L , while the level on the first floor measured 6.0 pCi/L.
After the installation of the active mitigation system, the level on the first floor of the house was reduced to 2.6 pCi/L, as measured with a charcoal detector made by Air Chek. I haven’t rechecked the basement yet.
In addition to the lower radon reading, I’ve noticed that the basement humidity averages about 65%, and doesn’t rise much even after a good rain. That might make for the most useful result: no more soggy cardboard storage boxes.
Researchers at MIT recently published a study on the effects of low dose-rate radiation on cell repair mechanisms.
One of the more interesting quotes in the story, suggesting that the human body already possesses substantial radiation repair capability: “DNA damage occurs spontaneously even at background radiation levels, conservatively at a rate of about 10,000 changes per cell per day.”
As part of the Secure the Cities campaign initiated after 9/11, many police departments and state agencies received grants from the federal government to purchase sensitive radiation monitoring devices for use by on-duty police officers, firefighters, and emergency responders. This article in Police Chief Magazine explains the history and intent of the program. In many cases, police were issued the Thermo Scientific RadEye PRD.
In Connecticut last Wednesday, a man returning from a nuclear stress test was stopped by a state trooper with a RadEye personal radiation detector.