Radiation Safety Considerations

Under current regulations of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission all these radiopharmaceuticals may be administered in the outpatient setting and hospital-ization is not required. A special treatment room is advisable to avoid even the perception of exposure of other patients and staff unnecessarily, but there are no data indicating any radiation hazard to the personnel of the nuclear medicine facility as long as appropriate shielding measures are taken for the radiopharma-ceutical during storage and administration. As P-32 and Sr-89 emit no significant photons, and the bremsstrahlung they produce are not of any clinical significance, no precautions need to be taken when these patients are released, except for good hygiene, that is, handwashing and avoidance of urine contamination, and not conceiving a child for several months. Measurements of radiation coming from patients who have received gamma-emitting Sm-153 lexidronam and Re-186 eti-dronate indicate that no stringent home precautions are required other than those noted before. Separate utensils and toilet facilities are unnecessary. The time required for a couple to sleep apart is 24 to 72 hours for the two gamma-emitting radiotracers.

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