These instructions are for any therapy patient administered a radiopharmaceutical (sealed source or brachytherapy information is in a separate section below), however, typically Stanford Health Care nursing and attendant staff will see radioiodine patients who are admitted.

  1. Nursing and other hospital staff should minimize time spent in the room and near the patient, consistent with the provision of all necessary care. Specific “stay times” will be provided on the patient’s door.
  2. Attending personnel must wear disposable gloves when handling or touching items in the room. Remove gloves and place in designated waste container before leaving the room.
  3. Gowns should be worn if significant time will be spent in the room or whenever necessary to protect clothes from contact with the patient or items in the room.
  4. Shoe covers should be worn when in the patient’s room. They must be removed when leaving the room to avoid tracking contamination from the room.
  5. Disposable items such as plates and eating utensils should be used whenever possible. These items must be placed in the designated waste container.
  6. Bedclothes, towels, and bed linen used by the patient should be placed in the laundry bag provided and left in the patient’s room until monitored by the hazardous waste technician. If contaminated, they will be collected by the hazardous waste technician.
  7. All items within the room should be checked for contamination by the hazardous waste technician before being removed.
  8. Excess food or drinks may be flushed down the toilet.
  9. The patient is to be encouraged to take responsibility for his/her own urine collection, if possible. Urine and stool may be disposed of via the sanitary sewer.
  10. Nursing staff should not provide assistance in bathing the patient for the first 48 hours unless specifically approved by the physician. However, the patient should be encouraged to bathe/shower daily.
  11. Items such as bedpans, urinals, and basins, if disposable, may be disposed of as radioactive waste. If these items are not disposable, they shall be thoroughly washed with soap and running water. The same items should be used for the individual patient until his/her treatment is terminated and shall be monitored by the hazardous waste technician before being returned to general stock. Protective gloves shall be worn while cleaning possibly contaminated equipment.
  12. Any vomitus, gastric contents collected during the first 24 hours by nasogastric aspiration, or excessive sputum should be collected in a waterproof container and held for disposal by the hazardous waste technician if disposal down the sanitary sewer is not possible. If there has been a large spill of urine, Health Physics at (650) 723-3201 or Nuclear Medicine Laboratory personnel shall be notified immediately.
  13. Before the patient’s room can be reassigned to another patient, the hazardous waste technician must survey the room for contamination and remove all radioactive waste. The room will be decontaminated if necessary.
  14. Do not release the room to housekeeping until caution signs have been removed by the hazardous waste technician.
  15. For questions regarding radiation safety contact Health Physics at (650) 723-3201.