Radiation exposure of a hospital employee beyond the statuary annual dose limit

Print View Posted on: 28 January 2021

Event Date: 08 December 2020 Event Type: Radioisotope Processing/Handling Facility
Event Location: Germany, Laboratory for radio-pharmaceutics in Bavaria INES Rating: 2 (Final)

As part of the 177Lu production in an industrial application center (production of radio-pharmaceuticals in radionuclide laboratories) when working in a glove box, a used can-nula was accidentally placed on the floor of the glove box when attempting to throw it into the designated collecting container and remained unnoticed in the glove box. The protec-tive cap of the cannula had also come off. During the next shift, an employee discovered the cannula. When attempting to pick it up, she punctured herself with the cannula the fingertip of the middle finger of the right hand through the gloves of the glove box. A tiny amount of fluid still in the cannula got into the puncture site. However, since the specific activity of the liquid was very high, the transferred activity was around 1 MBq. The em-ployee then stopped all work and informed the company radiation protection. Due to im-mediate medical treatment the activity could be lowered to 10 to 20 kBq. The local skin dose was conservatively calculated to 6.7 Sv at the puncture site. This exceeds the German statuary annual dose limit for the doses to skin of exposed radiation personnel of 500 mSv.

INES Rating: 2 - Incident (Final) as per 21 January 2021
Release beyond authorized limits? No
Overexposure of a member of the public? No
Overexposure of a worker? Yes

Contamination spread within the facility? No
Damage to radiological barriers (incl. fuel damage) within the facility? No

Degradation of Defence In-Depth No

Person injured physically or casualty? No
Is there a continuing problem? No

Michael Maqua
Gesellschaft für Anlagen und Reaktorsicherheit

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