The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Fee has issued two “occasion notifications” for incidents involving Salem Hospital’s radiation oncology division earlier this 12 months.
One incident concerned hospital staff, whereas the opposite concerned sufferers. Investigations to-date have proven no accidents, the Statesman Journal reported.
Salem Well being voluntarily reported each incidents, hospital spokesperson Lisa Wooden mentioned. Each concerned a most cancers remedy gadget referred to as excessive dose-rate afterloader, or HDR, mentioned Erica Heartquist, a spokesperson for the Oregon Well being Authority, which is investigating the incidents.
The company’s Radiation Safety Companies licenses and screens radioactive supplies within the state. OHA was unable to offer additional data as a result of the occasions are nonetheless are underneath investigation, Heartquist mentioned.
“These sorts of occasions are uncommon,” she mentioned.
On March 22, a sealed supply of Iridium-192 was delivered by widespread provider to the improper ground of the hospital, in accordance with the NRC’s notification doc. The half is used within the HDR gadget.
As a substitute of being delivered to radiation oncology, it was delivered to a medical observe that rents house within the constructing.
“The individual receiving the bundle, who doesn’t have radiation security or transportation coaching, signed for it with out an understanding or what it was and positioned it on the ground of an access-controlled employees working space,” the notification reads.
Salem Well being didn’t understand the bundle had been delivered till March 28, when medical provider Varian referred to as to schedule set up of the half, which is delivered quarterly.
“There was no indication given of monitoring a substitute supply bundle whereas it’s in transit to the licensee’s web site. That is being investigated additional,” the NRC notification reads.
“Salem Well being was initially unaware of the cargo supply and that it had been misdirected,” Wooden mentioned. “Upon discovering the situation of the cargo, Salem Well being retrieved the cargo and transferred to its safe location.”
Salem Heath carried out radiation dose measurements on and close to the supply bundle at varied distances and orientations with a survey meter.
“It’s decided that there was no hurt to sufferers or employees from this supply supply situation,” Wooden mentioned.
On June 29, radiation oncology employees recognized a deviation within the size of a switch tube used to ship radiation.
“The tube was discovered to be 2.9 centimeters longer than the seller’s specs,” the NRC notification reads.
“Remedies subsequently can be 2.9 centimeters shorter than the programmed distance for therapies and involving 1.5-2 centimeters of unintended tissue…” it continues.
The switch tube had final been measured on July 27, 2020. Salem Well being believes they could have underdosed some sufferers, in accordance with the NRC notification.
The hospital has recognized two therapies the place this can be the case and is placing collectively a listing of all circumstances because the final tube measurement in 2020, the notification says.