The basic principles of radiation protection and their implementation as they apply to nuclear medicine are covered in general in Chapter 3. This chapter will look at the specific case of nuclear medicine used for therapy. In addition to the standards discussed in Chapter 3, specific guidance on the release of patients after radionuclide therapy can be found in the IAEA’s Safety Reports Series No. 63 [20.1]. When the patient is kept in hospital following radionuclide therapy, the people at risk of exposure include hospital staff whose duties may or may not directly involve the use of radiation. This can be a significant problem. However, it is generally felt that it can be effectively managed with well trained staff and appropriate facilities. On the other hand, once the patient has been released, the groups at risk include members of the patient’s family, including children, and carers; they may also include neighbours, visitors to the household, co-workers, those encountered in public places, on public transport or at public events, and finally, the general public. It is generally felt that these risks can be effectively mitigated by the radiation protection officer (RPO) with patient-specific radiation safety precaution instructions.
Dauer, L. T. 
- Department of Medical Physics, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York (United States)