HERCA Patient release card
At the occasion of its 8th meeting held in Bern on 8 December 2011, HERCA has approved a proposal for a patient release card after a therapeutic application of radionuclides. The card complements the document “131I therapy: Patient release criteria” previously adopted by HERCA at the occasion of the 5th HERCA meeting held in Oslo on 30 June-1 July 2010.
Throughout Europe, tens of thousands of patients benefit from treatments by radiopharmaceuticals containing iodine-131 every year. Their numbers continue to rise.
The approved HERCA document, entitled “ 131I therapy : patient release criteria” contains the general principles and the approach that the HERCA member countries have agreed upon. In this document, it is stated:
“At hospital, before releasing the patient, the medical practitioner makes sure that a declaration is handed over to the patient, stating that a given activity (X MBq) of I-131 was administered to the patient at a given moment (date) and informing where further explanations can be obtained (contact details). This declaration is provided in English and, where applicable, also in the local language(s).”
According to that statement, when a patient is released from a nuclear medicine ward, a “card” or a “paper” should be given to him or her. This information sheet will be referred to as a “card” further on, whatever the actual form it may take. The aim of the information, given in this “card” is to contribute to assuring a better radiation protection after the release of patients treated with I-131. It can be helpful in avoiding unnecessary exposure of health professionals, undertakers and members of the public.
The card could also prove to be useful when people are detected as being “radioactive” when passing through a radiation detection gate control, such as the ones used at airports, seaports, nuclear installations, waste treatment facilities, etc.
The “card” should be drawn up in English, in particular for the purpose of cross-border use. One or more local languages can be added on top, since they may be not only legally required in a given country, but also desirable for the sake of transparency and intelligibility.
HERCA has agreed on a model for such a card drawn up in English. A template of such a card is available on the HERCA protected website and should be available from the National Authorities participating in HERCA.
Publication date: 21-2-2012