Answer to Question #8125 Submitted to "Ask the Experts"

Category: Nuclear Medicine Patient Issues — Diagnostic Nuclear Medicine

The following question was answered by an expert in the appropriate field:

Q

May a technologist administer iodine-131 for diagnostic purposes, 37-185 MBq? What is the governing rule?

A

The answer to this question is found in state regulations. I would venture to guess that all states have similar requirements, but can only answer for the regulations in California. 

The radiation regulations in California are Title 17. All diagnostic exams in nuclear medicine are performed under general supervision. Direct supervision, which means that the physician is physically present in the room, is only required for therapy procedures. So, in California, a certified nuclear medicine technologist can administer diagnostic doses without direct supervision. Additionally, a written directive is required for all 131I (iodine-131) activities greater than 1.1 MBq.

If you are still concerned, let me know what state you are in and I can see if I can find a colleague to provide information on the regulations in your state.

Marcia Hartman, MS

Ask the Experts is posting answers using only SI (the International System of Units) in accordance with international practice. To convert these to traditional units we have prepared a conversion table. You can also view a diagram to help put the radiation information presented in this question and answer in perspective. Explanations of radiation terms can be found here.
Answer posted on 2 April 2009. The information posted on this web page is intended as general reference information only. Specific facts and circumstances may affect the applicability of concepts, materials, and information described herein. The information provided is not a substitute for professional advice and should not be relied upon in the absence of such professional advice. To the best of our knowledge, answers are correct at the time they are posted. Be advised that over time, requirements could change, new data could be made available, and Internet links could change, affecting the correctness of the answers. Answers are the professional opinions of the expert responding to each question; they do not necessarily represent the position of the Health Physics Society.