Risks and accidents in Nuclear Medicine
Accidents in nuclear medicine departments refer to unintended events during routine activities involved in diagnostic and therapeutic nuclear medicine procedures that may result in unjustified radiation exposure or traumatic injury for the patient or/and the medical stuff. The introduction into clinical practice of novel complex diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and the advent of advanced hybrid imaging systems of increased complexity have increased the probability and variety of accidents. Such events may occur during handling of radioactive substances for the preparation and administration of radiopharmaceuticals to the patient or during imaging the patient on the gamma camera. The aim of this presentation is to a) illustrate possible radiation accidents and mechanical accidents in a nuclear medicine department, b) discuss means/practices for the minimization of the probability of accidents to occur and c) to demonstrate the crucial role of the medical physicist for preventing accidents.