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If you were a medical physicist?

  1. Sep 23, 2012 #1
    My prof gave this kind of situation:
    "Radioiodine therapy has been frequently used to help treat malignancies in the thyroid gland. Assume that a patient was administered 9GBq of I-131, and 27 hours later the patient suffered a cardiac arrest and died. If you were the medical physicist of the hospital. what recommendation would you give to the people involve in the autopsy like the embalmer..?"
    so anyone have an idea...?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 24, 2012 #2
    If 9GBq was administered to a patient it can't be very harmful, and you would get only a tiny fraction of the exposure to the patient if normal procedures for handling dead bodies were followed.
    "don't cut out the thyroid and put it on your sandwich" should be enough.
  4. Sep 24, 2012 #3
    Hospitals also have health physicists who are responsible for monitoring occupational doses. If the cardiac patient has been released under 10 CFR 35.75, you discount the dose from the administration of the I-131 to the person, which means you have to determine the exposure to the embalmer (assuming they are monitored) during the procedure and subtract that from their exposure.

    As willem2 implied, the dose is not liable to cause any injury, so if the embalmer is not normally monitored, you don't have to do anything special. If the patient had not yet been released, then you need to take pracautions to reduce their exposure. However, the radiation protection program likely has procedures for such situations anyway.
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