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How Much Radiation Is That Giving Me, Doc? Suggestions for explaining risk from ionizing radiation: 1.There is, always has been, and always will be naturally-

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Presentation on theme: "How Much Radiation Is That Giving Me, Doc? Suggestions for explaining risk from ionizing radiation: 1.There is, always has been, and always will be naturally-"— Presentation transcript:

1 How Much Radiation Is That Giving Me, Doc? Suggestions for explaining risk from ionizing radiation: 1.There is, always has been, and always will be naturally- occurring radioactivity around us – even inside us. 2.There are places on earth that have ten times the background radiation, naturally, that we are exposed to in the USA, with no increased risk of cancer. 3.Benefit vs. risk. Although smaller doses are still considered to pose a risk, the risk of cancer is not statistically seen until exposures > 10,000 mrem. At 10,000 mrem, risk of cancer may be thought to have increased 1%. Normal risk (w/o radiation) of cancer is % For exposures less than ~300 mrem Compare risk to the natural environmental radiation that you receive each year. The risk from this much radiation is considered to be negligible. For exposures between 300 mrem and 5,000 mrem Compare risk to the radiation dose received by radiation workers in a year (eg, x-ray or NucMed tech, radiologist). The risk from this procedure is minimal and comparable to other everyday risks. For interventional procedures involving fluoroscopy: Soft tissue and bones will receive a minimal radiation exposure, but the patient’s skin may receive a high exposure. Very high skin exposures can cause reddening of the skin, blistering and even ulceration. This may be delayed for weeks or months after exposure. Explain that if the patient should experience skin discomfort in the area that was imaged, report this to the interventionalist or the personal physician. Don’t forget – the patient may have had other radiological procedures performed recently. Suggestions for explaining risk from ionizing radiation: 1.There is, always has been, and always will be naturally- occurring radioactivity around us – even inside us. 2.There are places on earth that have ten times the background radiation, naturally, that we are exposed to in the USA, with no increased risk of cancer. 3.Benefit vs. risk. Although smaller doses are still considered to pose a risk, the risk of cancer is not statistically seen until exposures > 10,000 mrem. At 10,000 mrem, risk of cancer may be thought to have increased 1%. Normal risk (w/o radiation) of cancer is % For exposures less than ~300 mrem Compare risk to the natural environmental radiation that you receive each year. The risk from this much radiation is considered to be negligible. For exposures between 300 mrem and 5,000 mrem Compare risk to the radiation dose received by radiation workers in a year (eg, x-ray or NucMed tech, radiologist). The risk from this procedure is minimal and comparable to other everyday risks. For interventional procedures involving fluoroscopy: Soft tissue and bones will receive a minimal radiation exposure, but the patient’s skin may receive a high exposure. Very high skin exposures can cause reddening of the skin, blistering and even ulceration. This may be delayed for weeks or months after exposure. Explain that if the patient should experience skin discomfort in the area that was imaged, report this to the interventionalist or the personal physician. Don’t forget – the patient may have had other radiological procedures performed recently. Some Quick Facts about These Figures: 1.THESE DOSES ARE FOR ADULT PATIENTS ONLY. Doses shown are average ranges for average sized persons and vary according to many factors. A larger patient’s exposure from fluoro will exceed the given range (by 2-4 times) and from NucMed procedures will be less than the given range. Vice-versa for smaller patients. 2.“Effective dose” is the overall insult to the body. X-ray exams give the most exposure to the skin. Nuclear Medicine exams give most of the dose to the target organ millirem (mrem) = 1 milliSievert (mSv) Some Quick Facts about These Figures: 1.THESE DOSES ARE FOR ADULT PATIENTS ONLY. Doses shown are average ranges for average sized persons and vary according to many factors. A larger patient’s exposure from fluoro will exceed the given range (by 2-4 times) and from NucMed procedures will be less than the given range. Vice-versa for smaller patients. 2.“Effective dose” is the overall insult to the body. X-ray exams give the most exposure to the skin. Nuclear Medicine exams give most of the dose to the target organ millirem (mrem) = 1 milliSievert (mSv) Doses from Natural Sources of Radiation Radon gas – 200 mrem/yr average Masonry bldg. materials – 9 mrem/yr Potassium rich Diet – 40 mrem/yr DC to LA one-way flight – 5 mrem Natural gas heater/stove – 9 mrem/yr Smoking 1 pk/ day – 1,000 to 5,000 mrem/yr For additional information on radiation and medical procedures, contact a Radiologist in the Dept. of Radiology (6-XRAY). For information on radiation doses and measurement, or for references to data on this sheet, contact the ECLH Radiation Safety Officer (6-1426).


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