The Department consists of a virtually self contained suite of rooms and laboratories on the lower ground floor of St Luke’s wing.
This is where every patient should register when they arrive in the department.
Immediately in front of reception is a waiting area where you will be asked to wait.
- the procedure will be explained by a radiographer
- your queries and concerns will be answered
- injections are given for the diagnostic scans
- breath tests are performed
- radionuclide therapies are given
- cardiac stress tests are performed.
The scanning rooms have two dual headed gamma cameras.
A radio pharmaceutical is a special chemical that emits a type of radioactivity called a gamma ray. There are different radio pharmaceuticals that collect in different organs and tissues. The type you are given depends on the part of the body that is to be scanned.
The radiopharmacy is where we combine the different pharmaceuticals to produce some of our radiopharmaceuticals. The other radiopharmaceuticals we buy in, as we can’t produce them here. Some are produced in a cyclotron, others are derived from nuclear reactors.
The radiopharmaceuticals must be produced in a sterile environment since they are then given to the patient.
To limit the radiation exposure to patients, we use radiopharmaceuticals which decay fairly quickly (short life), so we have to make fresh supplies each day. If the radiopharmaceutical had a long life it would give a higher radiation exposure to the patient. We also supply these radiopharmaceuticals to four other hospitals in the region.
The daily supplies of radio pharmaceuticals are produced specifically for each patient. To prevent money being wasted, it is important that we are notified in advance if the patient is unable to attend.