Unique shielding solutions for the nuclear medicine department at Cumberland Infirmary

11th November 2020

Creating unique solutions for NHS nuclear medicine departments 

Bartec and Raditech have completed a custom-made installation for the nuclear medicine department at Cumberland Infirmary, following similar installations at Royal Liverpool Hospital and Salisbury District Hospital.

No solution delivered by Bartec has been the same, as all nuclear medicine departments have different requirements. This can be due to the building shape or size, and departmental budget.

Minimizing radiation exposure during nuclear medicine procedures

Lisa Welsh is Chief Clinical Technologist in Nuclear Medicine at the hospital and discusses the requirements for the shielding furniture.  She said: “As Cumberland Infirmary is a district hospital, the nuclear medicine department treats a lot of oncology patients, but also supports dementia and renal studies.

When injecting patients with radioactive material for the above procedures, it’s imperative to minimize radiation exposure to staff through the protective equipment and furniture in the department.”

Unique solutions; Torso and L shape shields

The solution designed for Cumberland Infirmary comprises of two specially designed shields for the drawing up of radiopharmaceuticals.

Lisa said: “Bartec measured up and designed a new torso shield for the department, as the previous shield was perspex, which became fogged when undergoing cleanroom processes. The new torso shield is lead glass, which fits perfectly and is much easier to use. Conventionally, torso shields (also called dispensing shields) are lead, which can pose a problem for shorter members of staff!”

“The second shield is an L shaped shield which can store up to 3 x 1-litre standard flasks, which contain low energy gamma emitters for evaluation of a patient's renal function. In the past, we used a lower energy low abundance gamma emitter with very low activity. We no longer have access to that product so we had to alter our technique. The unshielded flasks gave significantly higher background radiation which was unacceptable for staff and made routine local radiation contamination monitoring difficult. The custom-made storage shield helped us overcome these issues and is ideal for our small sample preparation laboratory.”

Solutions that are designed and made in the UK

All solutions are individually designed, custom-built and made to measure, ensuring a perfect fit in your nuclear medicine department whilst meeting with regulations such as IRR17. Bartec and partners Raditech use locally sourced materials to reduce carbon footprint and ensure a quick turnaround for the customer.