NEWS AND EVENTS
|Year : 2013 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 52-55
News and Events
Senior Medical Physicist, Department of Radiation Oncology, King Fahad Specialist Hospital, Dammam-31444, Saudi Arabia
|Date of Web Publication||29-Jan-2013|
Senior Medical Physicist, Department of Radiation Oncology, King Fahad Specialist Hospital, Dammam-31444
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Ganesh T. News and Events. J Med Phys 2013;38:52-5
Practice guidelines for digital radiography published
The American College of Radiology (ACR), the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), and the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM) in collaboration have brought out practice guidelines for digital radiography. Besides defining the qualifications and responsibilities of personnel involved like physician, medical physicists, radiologist assistant and radiologic technologist, it also outlines how the equipment specifications should be framed focusing on image availability, acquisition, processing, and data integrity. It further addresses radiation safety in imaging, quality control, and acceptance testing. The document provides comprehensive guidance and assistance in the understanding and clinical use of digital radiography equipment in order to deliver optimal image quality at an appropriate minimal radiation dose, and to ultimately provide excellent safety and care for patients undergoing digital radiography examinations.
It can be downloaded from:
AAPM announces plan to develop medical physics practice guidelines on various topics
Practice guidelines that set minimum guidance for clinically practicing medical physicists will be developed by the AAPM. These will be called as Medical Physics Practice Guidelines (MPPGs) which are similar to the ACR practice guidelines and technical standards that the AAPM has been collaborating on. These guidelines are not intended to address the science behind a particular topic. The draft of first such set of guidelines, namely, Commissioning and quality assurance of x-ray based image guided radiotherapy systems, is available on AAPM website for members to comment on.
European Commission guidelines on medical physics expert
The European Commission (EC) has released its guidelines on medical physics expert (MPE) that define the role of MPE, their qualification and curriculum frameworks, staffing levels in Europe among other topics. All the three major areas, namely, radiotherapy, nuclear medicine and radiology are covered. Stressing that the number of MPEs required for a radiotherapy service will depend on the number and type of equipment and also the number of patients treated (or planned), the guidelines suggest a figure of 0.6 MPE whole time equivalent (WTE) for a multi-mode linear accelerator, 0.2 MPE WTE for a single-mode linear accelerator, 0.2 for a high-dose rate brachytherapy system, 0.2 for a CT-simulator, 0.1 for data networking, 0.5 per 1000 treatment courses, among several other factors classified under 3 different categories (equipment dependent, patient dependent, service dependent).
The guidelines can be downloaded from:
Safety is no accident
The "Target Safely" program launched by American Society of Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) in 2010 focuses on improving patient safety and reducing the chances of medical errors during radiation therapy treatments. In its effort to providing increased education for the delivery team about quality assurance and safety issues, the program has published a document titled "Safety is no accident: A framework for quality radiation oncology and care" which is essentially an update of the "Blue Book" that was last issued in 1991. This new document is designed to address the specific requirements of a contemporary radiation oncology facility in terms of structure, personnel and technical process in order to ensure a safe environment for the delivery of radiation therapy.
The first chapter outlines the process of care in modern radiation oncology from patient evaluation to follow-up evaluation and care. The roles and responsibilities of each member of the radiation oncology team are defined along with the qualifications and training of the team members. The document presents staffing requirements with minimum personnel requirements (e.g. one medical dosimetrist per 250 patients treated annually, one radiation therapist per 90 patients treated annually) and a separate worksheet for calculating medical physics and dosimetry staff. Safety related roles and challenges of the radiation oncology staff, tools and initiatives to facilitate safety, safety culture, and ways to ingraining safety into everyday practice are presented in detail. It concludes with a comprehensive coverage on management and assurance of quality in radiation oncology.
The new Blue Book will certainly prove to be a valuable document in the hands of the entire radiation oncology team, hospital administrators and policy makers. It can be downloaded from:
New educative materials on dose reduction in nuclear medicine
In United States, nuclear medicine remains the second largest source of medical radiation exposure after computed tomography. The Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI), the SNMMI technologist section, and the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) have jointly developed online educational materials that will help nuclear medicine professionals in using the lowest radiopharmaceutical dose necessary to perform nuclear medicine exams. The website www.imagewisely.org expanded in November 2012 to cover nuclear medicine now provides healthcare providers with information and resources to optimize nuclear medicine procedures. The covered topics include considerations regarding radiation exposure in performing FDG-PET-CT, CT protocol selection in PET-CT imaging, PET-CT in the pregnant patient, standard myocardial perfusion and cardiac FDG-PET protocols and associated patient radiation doses, dose reduction in planar nuclear medicine imaging among several other important topics.
Materials can be downloaded from:
National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) publishes reports on diagnostic reference levels and on investigation of radiological incidents
NCRP has published Report No. 172- " Reference levels and achievable doses in medical and dental imaging: Recommendations for the United States" containing recommendations on diagnostic reference levels, achievable doses, for radiographic, fluoroscopic and computed tomographic examinations, fluoroscopically guided interventional procedures, dental radiography and nuclear medicine procedures. This guidance can be used by medical imaging practitioners to optimize examination techniques with reductions in radiation dose if warranted while maintaining or improving image quality. The report is aimed at a broad audience of all those who are interested in radiation safety and health protection in medicine and it lays the foundation for the development and application of diagnostic reference levels and achievable doses for diagnostic x-ray examinations.
The organization has also come out with Report No. 173- "Investigation of radiological incidents". The report provides guidance for investigating radiological incidents that can occur wherever radioactive materials are handled, stored, used or transported, or where radiation generating equipment is operated.
Dentists warned over x-ray machine amid radiation fears
Dentists in UK have been warned against a portable, handheld dental x-ray machine that was available online at cheap rates through some commercial websites until recently. The unit was found to expose patients to ten times the normal radiation dose.
International Commission on Radiological Protection publishes compendium of dose coefficients
Compendium of dose coefficients based on International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) publication 119 is available for free download from ICRP website. Information provided in this publication includes dose coefficients for intakes of radionuclides by workers, by members of the public, and conversion coefficients for external radiation. The coefficients are provided in an excel file and also in other commonly used formats for flexibility. Small errors in the dose coefficients in previous publications have been corrected, few dose coefficients added and improved biokinetic modeling was applied to in the calculation dose coefficients for members of the public.
New computed tomography (CT) protocols
American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) has released CT protocol recommendations for adult routine chest CT and adult routine abdomen/pelvis CT.
Publications of interest from International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Quality assurance programme for computed tomography: Diagnostic and therapy applications
IAEA Human Health Series-19
Computed tomography plays a vital role in modern medicine as a means of diagnosis and also as an essential precursor to radiation therapy. The complexity of CT technology is continually increasing and it is potentially capable of delivering substantial doses to patients.
This publication contains advice related to both diagnostic and therapeutic applications of CT. The 192-pages document covers topics such as CT technology, performance requirements in CT, considerations for the selection of CT, basic principles of quality assurance (QA), optimization of clinical practice, tests to be conducted by radiographers, by medical physicists, tests specific to radiation therapy, configuring external positioning lasers, etc., apart from other relevant topics. For each test, the document describes the scope, equipment and instrumentation needed, scan protocol, methodology, analysis, interpretation of results and concludes with recommendations and corrective actions.
Nuclear cardiology: Guidance and recommendations for implementation in developing countries
IAEA Human Health Series-23
This publication is mainly devoted to myocardial perfusion imaging and covers all aspects of this modality, from clinical indications to reporting. It is intended to inform the implementation, homogenization and enhancement of nuclear cardiology practice in countries where the technique is under development, in order to facilitate a rapid upgrade to currently accepted standards and to provide good quality services to the population.
Management of cervical cancer: Strategies for limited-resource centres - A guide for radiation oncologists
IAEA Human Health Reports-6
This publication is aimed at radiation oncologists working in centers with limited resources and treating large numbers of patients with cervical cancer on a daily basis. The approach and techniques are intended to be simple, feasible and resource sparing to the extent that this is possible when dealing with a complex treatment modality.
Radiotherapy in palliative cancer care: Development and implementation
IAEA Human Health Reports-2
This report recognizes the role and potential of radiotherapy as a cost effective, palliative tool in cancer care, while also emphasizing the need for training in comprehensive palliative care among the radiation oncology community. The report summarizes current approaches to palliative radiotherapy, and outlines the steps needed to enhance access to palliative radiotherapy and improve the quality of palliative care as a whole through a more integrated and multidisciplinary approach.
Regulations for the safe transport of radioactive material 2012 - IAEA safety standards series (Requirements)
IAEA Safety Standards Series SSR-6
The document provides activity limits and classification for individual radionuclides, requirements and controls for the transport like categorization of packages, marking, labeling and placarding, consignor's responsibilities, transport and storage in transit, requirements for radioactive material and for packages, test procedures, approval and administrative requirements among other relevant topics.
ICMP 2013- International Conference on Medical Physics
Dates: Sept 1-4, 2013
Place: Brighton International Centre, UK
For further details: http://www.icmp2013.org
AMPINC-CON 2013- Annual Conference of the Association of Medical Physicists of India (North Zone Chapter)
Theme: Emerging Trends in The Field of Medical Physics As Applied to Radiation Oncology, Diagnostic Radiology and Radiation Safety
Dates: Feb 16-17, 2013
Place: Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India
For further details: http://ampi-nc.org/ampinccon.htm