United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment



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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