The significance of radiation exposure to surgeons during sentinel lymph node biopsy.
Occupational health and safety (Research)
Lymph nodes (Biopsy)
Lymph nodes (Methods)
Lymph nodes (Equipment and supplies)
|Publication:||Name: South African Journal of Surgery Publisher: South African Medical Association Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 South African Medical Association ISSN: 0038-2361|
|Issue:||Date: April, 2011 Source Volume: 49 Source Issue: 2|
|Topic:||Event Code: 440 Facilities & equipment; 310 Science & research|
|Product:||Product Code: 8000500 Employee Health & Safety NAICS Code: 62 Health Care and Social Assistance|
|Geographic:||Geographic Scope: South Africa Geographic Code: 6SOUT South Africa|
Introduction: To measure the extent of radiation exposure to a
surgeon after injecting 91 patients undergoing sentinel lymph node
biopsy with radioactive isotope technetium-99m.
Method: A prospective analysis of 91 patients undergoing sentinel lymph node biopsy who received radioactive isotope technetium-99m for the period 5 January 2010-20 June 2010.
Results: A total of 91 patients' exposure rates were collected by placing a thermoluminescent dosimeter (TLD) on the surgeon's finger. The TLDs recorded the total radiation exposure to the surgeon.
The occupational dose limit for extremity exposure should be less than 500 mSv or 50 rem per year. The data, once analysed and extrapolated, showed an average dose per patient of 0.1110989 mSv.
Conclusion: The number of surgical procedures a surgeon would need to perform to exceed the advised minimum extremity dose limit would need to exceed 4 545.5 per annum. Therefore, only in extreme surgery practices would the minimum dose limit of extremity radiation be exceeded. The data also reveal that regular measurements of radiation exposure and radiation protective measures need not be undertaken in theatres where surgeons are working with radioactive isotopes regularly.
N Harran, G Edwards, C Benn, A Chamberlain
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
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