Swift Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences (SJMMS)
August 2016 Vol. 2(4), pp. 039-044
Copyright © 2016 Swift Journals
Original Research Paper
Assessment of Radiation Emergency Preparedness in Nuclear Medicine
*Assistant Prof. of Safety and Prevention of Oncology in Radiation Protection Department, Member of Nuclear and Radiological Emergency Center, Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Authority, Cairo, Egypt. PhD, M.D in Childhood Studies & Pediatric Oncology, Ain-Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.
*Corresponding Author E-mail: email@example.com
Accepted 2nd August, 2016
Radiological accidents can have a lasting impact on public health. Because of the increasing risk of radiological emergencies, public health agencies and first-response organizations are working to increase their capability of responding. Nuclear medicine technologists (NMTs) have expertise in certain areas, such as radiation safety, radiobiology, decontamination, and the use of radiation detection and monitoring equipment, that could be useful during the response to events that involve radiological materials. Medical staff and worker personnel in the nuclear medicine department and in other department using radioactive materials needs to increase their knowledge about how to deal safely with the equipment, early and late hazards of exposure to radiation, and how to save patients and themselves from radiation exposure or from contamination to a radioactive substance. The purpose of this study was to assess the willingness and knowledge of NMTs, medical staff and an emergency medical response team to participate in radiological emergency preparedness and response operations and to determine what radiation detection, measuring, and imaging equipment they would have access to during an event at their workplace. The study also assessed whether years of work experience or past radiological emergency preparedness training had an effect on the willingness and knowledge. A survey was sent electronically to the 500 members in the Department of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging in different medical centers, to some laboratory that use nuclear material and to the emergency department in some hospitals. 57 respond to the survey with response rate 11.4%. Survey results suggest that NMTs are having some knowledge and willing to respond to radiological emergencies, regardless of the number of years of work experience. But this knowledge needs more study and exercising. The current study concluded that the initial response to a radiological emergency may include radiation detection, population monitoring, decontamination, and dose assessment. Knowledgeable, willing, and prepared individuals will be needed to assist with a response of this nature. Public health agencies will need to coordinate with NMTs and draw on their expertise and knowledge to strengthen the community’s capability of responding to a radiological or nuclear emergency. Public health agencies and first-response organizations are working to build the capacity to respond to emergencies involving radiological materials. It is important that NMTs be included in preparedness efforts. Recommendations regarding the Continuous education programs shall be designed to increase the awareness about the emergency preparedness and response to radiation accident. Increase the alertness between medical worker and staff about the radiation hazards and its safety measures that prevent these hazards. However, International organizations can provide support to other countries in the education programs. Communities must try to increase the ability of the public health system to handle radiological events of any nature.
Keywords: Assessment, radiation emergency preparedness, nuclear medicine.Read [Full Text - PDF]