Background and aim
Methodologies for dispensing radiopharmaceuticals have been studied in six UK radiopharmacies. The aims of the study were to compare the dose per unit activity handled using the different dispensing techniques, determine the main factors influencing the dose, and identify the area of the hand likely to receive the highest exposure.
Finger doses were measured using an electronic finger dosemeter while dispensing procedures were observed. Three different techniques were used to withdraw radioactivity from a vial, involving a fully inverted vial, a non-inverted vial angled at 45°, and a V technique in which vial and syringe are tilted at small angles in opposite directions.
Provided the operators are skilled in carrying out the manipulations, the most important factor affecting the radiation doses to the hands is the extent to which syringe shields are deployed. However, the influence of technique on the dose to the dominant hand was much less than that from use of a syringe shield, although the technique involving an inverted vial gave a greater dose to the non-dominant hand.
Results suggest that the tip of the index finger is likely to receive the highest dose and this position is recommended for routine dose monitoring.