|Year : 2007 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 43-44
Department of Radiotherapy, Dr. BRAIRCH, All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029, India
Department of Radiotherapy, Dr. BRAIRCH, All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Ganesh T. News. J Med Phys 2007;32:43-4
| Patients trigger false radiation alarms|| |
The 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US, and other recent terrorist strikes in different forms across the globe have forced security experts to look for and prevent danger coming from unexpected and unforeseen quarters.
Since the September 11 attacks, the US Department of Homeland Security has distributed more than 12,000 handheld radiation detectors, mainly to customs and border protection agents at airports, seaports and border crossings to look for any 'radiation bombs' or 'dirty bombs'. Sensors are also used at government buildings and at large public events that are considered potential terrorist targets. At the annual Christmas tree-lighting party in New York City's Rockefeller center in November, police pulled six people aside in the crowd and asked them why they had tripped sensors. All six had undergone medical treatments / diagnostic tests with radioisotopes a few days before the party.
In the wake of strict radiation surveillance kept at entry points in countries with increased threat perception, it would be wiser on the part of our nuclear medicine physicians to warn patients undergoing tests / treatments and those who are likely to undertake trips to such countries. To avoid any possible harassments and unfortunate 'holdups' in the hands of overcautious security officials, such patients can be issued appropriate medical certificates stating the facts.
With the recent case of the fatal poisoning of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko by the radioactive substance polonium-210, one can expect such radiation surveillance to become more stringent than ever before.
Talking about such security measures that are being practiced in other countries, I can't resist myself from thinking about the kind of surveillance followed in our country. I don't remember seeing a radiation zone monitor or any other kind of radiation surveillance in airports or in other public places. Has anyone observed? Isn't it time to review the safety measures before any disaster strikes and enforce radiation surveillance at least at very important locations?
(From a news item that appeared in the Times of India, Delhi Edition, January 30, 2007)
| Recent publications of interest from International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)|| |
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) periodically publishes books and documents that are of use to practicing medical physicists. Recently, two publications have come out from IAEA which readers may find useful. The first one is the technical reports series No. 454 titled "Quality Assurance for Radioactivity Measurement in Nuclear Medicine" which provides information on the implementation of the quality assurance/quality control program for the measurement of radioactivity related to the practice of nuclear medicine. The second document is a part of safety report series (SRS No. 39) titled "Applying Radiation Safety Standards in Diagnostic Radiology and Interventional Procedures Using X-rays". It concerns to the users of radiation in radiology to comply with the radiation safety requirements besides being of use to regulators as well.
These documents can be downloaded in pdf form freely from the IAEA website. The links are:
| Educational resources from the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM)|| |
AAPM provides the following educational resources for medical physicists in the developing countries.
- Proceedings of the AAPM summer schools
- Continuing education programs from the annual meetings
- Selected AAPM task group reports
Members are encouraged to visit the following website and register themselves:
| Free access to the Cochrane Library for everyone in India|| |
Anyone in India with access to the internet now has complimentary access to the reliable, up-to-date evidence on healthcare interventions from The Cochrane Library . This has been made possible through a sponsorship provided by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) that recently signed a three-year contract for a national subscription with the publishers, John Wiley and Sons.
The Cochrane Library (available at www.thecochranelibrary.com) is considered by many to be the single most reliable source for evidence on the effects of healthcare interventions. It includes seven databases that are updated quarterly, four of which are the efforts of the 15,000 international contributors of the Cochrane Collaboration (www.cochrane.org).
Effective January 29, 2007, the Cochrane Library is freely available to all residents of India with internet access, thanks to funding from the ICMR (www.ICMR.nic.in) and the work of the South Asia Cochrane Network (www.cochrane-sacn.org).
| Calendar of Events|| |
The 28th Annual Conference of the Association of Medical Physicists of India AMPICON-2007 is being hosted by the renowned Sher-I-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura, Srinagar during November 2-4, 2007. The conference theme has been chosen as "Emerging Techniques and Technologies in the Management of Cancer" . Delegates attending the conference will have the unique opportunity to enjoy the academic feast and as well as the scenic beauty of the picturesque Kashmir valley. The conference website www.ampicon2007.org is already active and you are encouraged to use it to communicate with the organizers and plan your trip to the valley well in advance.
The last date for the submission of abstracts is July 31, 2007 and by August 31, 2007 authors will be intimated of the decision of the scientific committee. Delegates requiring accommodation should send a sum of Rs. 1000 in advance by demand draft to the organizers (last date: August 31, 2007). Address for correspondence: Prof. W.H. Andrabi Organizing Secretary, Radiological Physics and Bio-Engineering, SKIMS, Soura, Kashmir - 190001. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
ARTTICON-2007, New Delhi
The Association of Radiation Therapy Technologists of India (ARTTI) is holding its 11th Annual Conference, ARTTICON-2007, in New Delhi during October 5-7, 2007. The conference is hosted by the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. In order to expand the reach of the conference in the Indian subcontinent, the organizers have decided to make it the 1st SAARC and 11th Annual Conference of ARTTI. It is expected that a large number of delegates from the neighboring SAARC countries will attend the conference. Live demonstrations of some of the advanced treatment procedures have been planned for October 5 which shall highly benefit the attending delegates.
The last date for submission of abstracts is July 14, 2007 and the authors will be intimated of the final decision by September 1, 2007. The conference website is http://www.aiims.ac.in/artticon2007.htm and the address for correspondence is firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
15th International Conference on the Use of Computers in Radiation Therapy
Place: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Meeting Dates: June 4-7, 2007
Abstract Submission deadline: January 22, 2007
For more details log onto: www.iccr2007.org
12th International Conference - Optimal Use of Advanced Radiotherapy in Multimodality Oncology
Place: Rome, Italy
Meeting Dates: June 20-23, 2007
Abstract Submission deadline: February 28, 2007
For more details log onto: www.rome2007.org
49th Annual Meeting of American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM)
Place: Minneapolis Convention Center, Minneapolis, MN, USA
Meeting Dates: July 22-26, 2007
Abstract submission deadline: March 7, 2007
The meeting will be followed by AAPM Summer School on Shielding Methods for Medical Facilities: Diagnostic Imaging, PET and Radiation Therapy - St. John's University, Collegeville, MN during July 27-29, 2006.
For more details log onto: www.aapm.org
49th American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meeting
Place: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Meeting Dates: October 28-November 1, 2007
Abstract submission deadline: April 12, 2007
For more details log onto: www.astro.org