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March 4, 1961

Some Notes on the Administration of Atomic Cocktails

Author Affiliations

New York City

Physicist and Clinical Instructor (Mr. Collica), Assistant Clinical Professor (Dr. Lentino), and Professor, Clinical Radiology (Dr. Rubenfeld), New York University School of Medicine and the Radioisotope Service of the Bellevue Hospital.

JAMA. 1961;175(9):806-807. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.63040090014019a

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A DECADE of uninterrupted experience has given us an appreciation of several obvious but correctable errors incident to the administration of therapeutic doses of radioactive materials.

Adherence to the basic principles of radiation protection often will aid in minimizing exposure of personnel during and after administration of radioactive isotopes. Radiation protection, in the main, is governed by 3 factors: 1. Distance, wherein intensity varies according to the inverse square law. 2. Time, wherein the longer the interval in a radiation field, the greater the exposure. 3. Shielding, wherein materials such as lead, copper, steel and others, in adequately chosen thicknesses, will attenuate radiation to a "permissible" level. To illustrate some common errors, the following experiences are presented.

Examples of Incorrect Administration of Radioactive Materials 

Example 1.—  A physicist was asked to investigate a series of film badge exposures with levels of radiation above the accepted range for the usual work

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