The Department consists of a virtually self contained suite of rooms and laboratories on the lower ground floor of St Luke’s wing.
The reception area is located to right of the entrance to the Department.
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.
We have a number of small treatment rooms where:
- 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.
There are three scanning rooms each with a dual headed gamma camera. A gamma camera is a special camera used to take images of the inside of your body. One of our cameras is also equipped with a CT scanner. A picture of one of the departments cameras is below.
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.
To limit the radiation exposure to patients, we use radiopharmaceuticals which decay fairly quickly (short half-life), so we have to make fresh supplies each day. If the radiopharmaceutical had a long half-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 a patient is unable to attend.