IE Circular No. 79-06, Failure to Use Syringe and Bottle Shields in Nuclear Medicine
CR79006 UNITED STATES NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION WASHINGTON, D. C. 20555 April 16, 1979 MEMORANDUM FOR: B. H. Grier, Director, Region I J. P. O'Reilly, Director, Region II J. G. Keppler, Director, Region III K. V. Seyfrit, Director, Region IV R. H. Engelken, Director, Region V FROM: J. H. Sniezek, Director, FFMSI SUBJECT: IE CIRCULAR NO. 79-06, FAILURE TO USE SYRINGE AND BOTTLE SHIELDS IN NUCLEAR MEDICINE The subject document is transmitted with an issuance date of April 19, 1979. We recognize with the large number of high priority bulletins being issued as followup to the Three Mile Island incident actual issue dates may extend beyond April 19, 1979. The Circular should be issued to all holders of medical licenses, except teletherapy licenses. Also enclosed is a draft copy of the transmittal letter. J. H. Sniezek, Director Division of Fuel Facility and Materials Safety Inspection Office of Inspection and Enforcement Enclosure: 1. IE Circular No. 79-06 2. Draft Transmittal Letter CONTACT: J. R. Metzger, IE 49-28188 . (Draft transmittal letter to all holders of medical licenses, except teletherapy licenses.) IE Circular No. 79-06 Addressee: The enclosed IE Circular 79-06 is forwarded to you for information. If there are any questions related to your understanding of the suggested actions, please contact this office. Signature (Regional Director) Enclosure: IE Circular No. 79-06 . UNITED STATES NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION WASHINGTON, D. C. 20555 April 16, 1979 IE Circular No. 79-06 FAILURE TO USE SYRINGE AND BOTTLE SHIELDS IN NUCLEAR MEDICINE Description of Circumstances: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is taking this opportunity to reinforce the importance of the use of radiation shields for syringes and bottles for nuclear medicine. In many cases they are not always being used by persons preparing and administering doses of radiopharmaceuticals. This is a potentially unsafe practice as these shields reduce the radiation dose to the fingers and hands of persons handling the syringes and bottles and can result in unnecessary and undesirably high total dose to the fingers over a period of time. Calculations and studies show that failure to use the protective shields can result in a radiation dose rate to fingers of hospital staff personnel on the order of 100 mrads to one rad per minute, or a projected lifetime dose to the fingers in some cases of about 4,000 to 100,000 rads. Notice to Medical Licensees: Medical licensees are required to have and use these protective shields. This requirement is imposed by either a specific condition of the NRC license or by procedures which are incorporated into the license. As part of their routine audit program, NRC licensees authorized to use byproduct material pursuant to 10 CFR 35 should take the following actions: a. Verify that protective shields are available and that nurses and other medical personnel are using them, except in special circumstances, such as pediatric cases, when the use of syringe shields would compromise the patient's well-being. b. Inform the people involved in this type of work of the potentially high and serious radiation doses that can be received by the hands and fingers if the protective shields are not used. The information contained in this Circular should be brought to the attention of all personnel who prepare and administer licensed radiopharmaceuticals to patients. No written response to this Circular is required. If you require additional information regarding this subject, please contact the Director of the appropriate NRC Regional Office.
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