ICRP Publication 86: Prevention of Accidents to Patients Undergoing Radiation Therapy
Annals of the ICRP Volume 30/3, ICRP Online
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Over-dosage accidents in radiotherapy have often had devastating and sometimes fatal consequences. Under-dosage accidents causing inadequate tumour control also occur; they are difficult to detect clinically. Radiotherapy is increasing worldwide, and accidents may be expected to increase in frequency unless preventive measures are taken. While a number of serious and fatal radiotherapy accidents have been reported, it is likely that many more have occured but were not recognised or reported. Because of the complex equipment and techniques, accident prevention requires constant vigilance of the staff, adequate resources, a functional implemented quality assurance programme, good communication, and continuing education. Modern equipment and new technologies require more quality assurance and highly qualified maintenance. Proper commissioning of new equipment and proper decommissioning of old equipment and sources must be ensured.