NRC Releases 2011 Regulatory Issue Summary on Patient Release

February 7, 2012

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) released its 2011 summary, discussing NRC’s policy on the release of Iodine-131 therapy patients to locations other than private residences.

According to NRC regulations in 10 CFR 35.75 permit a licensee to “authorize the release from its control of any individual who has been administered unsealed byproduct material or implants containing byproduct material if the total effective dose equivalent to any other individual from exposure to the released individual is not likely to exceed 5 mSv (0.5 rem)."

Even though it has been known for practices to release patients to caregivers in a home setting, according to current NRC regulations, they cannot authorize or restrict patient release to a particular area.

While not required by the NRC in 10 CFR 35.75, a licensee may choose to encourage patients who pose a higher risk of radiation exposure to temporally relocate to a different location.

The information from the NRC summary was not mentioned in the Federal Register because it is informational and doesn’t represent change to the current regulatory requirements.

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