Last week I had a radiation seeds implant on a patient with prostate cancer. We have a speical radiation room that is lined in lead on another floor and was always used for that. Being away for a while, I came back and was given that patient. He was in a regular room in on a tele unit with a homemade sign posted on the window indicating "Radiation Precautions." I brought that up with the charge nurse and she said "don't worry unless you are pregnant." I called the house sup and was told "I don't have time for this now!" Have things changed? The patient was discharged home and the house keepers would not enter the room until checked out, what is there to check out if the room is not insulated? What about the safely of the patients on either side of that room and what about me? Things were so busy and wild as usual that I never got a clear understanding? Are prostate seed implants no big things anymore, where they can be placed anywhere w/o danger? I remember we had to wear the radiation badges when we had this type of patient etc. Should I QA this?
Aug 31, '06
I can imagine your concern! Few years ago I found myself in my 1st trimester pregnacy taking care of prostate cancer pt who had radiation seeds (I found that out by reading his chart and not from a nurse giving me report) I was terrified! So here are some info for you:
For prostate cancer pt. w/ radiation seeds they use Iodine-125 and Palladium-103 , low energy radioactive materials that lose their radioactivity quickly. The radiation levels around patient are very low and fairly safe for most people. The only major precautions are that you should avoid prolonged
physical contact with pregnant women
and young children (such as holding them or having them sit on your lap)
for six months following the I-125 implant or for three months after the Pd-103 implant.
Here is a link for more details on this. http://www.kcc.tju.edu/RadOnc/brachy/saf.htm
I hope this helps!