Overexposure to a Radiographer Trainee's Extremities

Print View Posted on: 23 September 2011

Event Date: 12 September 2011 Event Type: Radiation Source
Event Location: United States of America, Lavaca, Texas INES Rating: 3 (Provisional)

Preliminary information indicates that a radiographer trainee received an extremity exposure to the fingers, as result of removing a radiography camera guide tube with the source still in it and touching the source. The trainee’s fingers indicate observable deterministic effects, which include blistering of the thumb, index and middle fingers. These types of effects correspond to an exposure range of 20 to 30 Sv (2000 to 3000 rem) to the extremities. The trainee is receiving medical care at an area hospital. The trainee’s whole body dosimeter was processed immediately and the dose result indicates 14 mSv (1.4 rem). The State of Texas has initiated an investigation to gather additional details of the event and to determine the estimated dose to the extremities. These are all the known details at this time.

INES Rating: 3 - Serious incident (Provisional) as per 23 September 2011
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? Yes
Is there a continuing problem? No

Dr. Cynthia G.Jones
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)

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