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December 29, 1951


Author Affiliations

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

From the Medical Division, Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies.

JAMA. 1951;147(18):1745-1751. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670350025007

In January, 1949, the Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies organized a Medical Division with a primary function of exploiting radioisotopes in the field of medicine. At that time many medical schools had experience in using radioiodine and radiophosphorus, but there was little experience available in the large-scale use of radioisotopes. In a few instances three or four different radioisotopes had been used, usually in small volume, but only in a very few places had many different isotopes been used in significantly large volume to produce hazardous operations. Thus, the problems involved in the use of a large number of radioisotopes simultaneously in a large number of patients were relatively unknown. Most of the anticipated problems were based on the exposures encountered in the production and research facilities of the Atomic Energy Commission and were of a totally different nature than those of a hospital-type operation: In general, they were