Radiation Patients Endanger Public, Congressman Says
The public is being unwittingly exposed to potentially dangerous levels of radiation from patients released from the hospital after undergoing therapy with radioactive isotopes, according to Rep. Edward J. Markey, (D-MA).
In a letter Wednesday to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, he said this has occurred "because of weak NRC regulations, ineffective oversight of those who administer these medical treatments, and the absence of clear guidance to patients and to physicians that provide procedures to ensure that such exposures do not occur."
The rules were weakened in 1997, when standards required hospitalization of patients emitting high levels of radiation in order to protect children and other members of the public. Today, those radiation treatments are permitted on a less expensive outpatient basis, he wrote.
Many patients responded to a federal survey that they were never told that their treatment could expose vulnerable patients to potentially harmful radiation.
Markey says the NRC should immediately revise its 1997 rule making hospitalization mandatory for patients treated with levels of the isotope I-131 at doses above internationally accepted thresholds. It should also aggressively enhance its oversight of both its medical licensees and the agreements states to better identify, track and respond to regulatory violations.
- HCA to Acquire CareNow Urgent Care Centers
- BCBS Tries New Drug Contracting Model
- Dental Board Case Before SCOTUS Has Far-Reaching Implications
- Abington Health, Jefferson Health Plan '100% Equal' Merger
- Federal Appeals Court Mulls Observation Status
- How the Military's EHR Reboot Will Impact Interoperability
- The Case for Recycling Surgical Supplies
- 76% of Physicians Don't Like CMS Quality Reporting Programs
- Ballot Initiative Pits Providers Against Payers in SD
- How One Health System Saved $3.5M in Benefits Costs