A system to identify radionuclide contamination of patients in a hospital emergency department
Chahil, Narpinder Singh
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The main objective of the thesis is to develop a spectroscopy system at the Erie County Medical Center appropriate for use in nuclide identification of body fluids in the event of a community radiation incident involving internal intake of radio-isotopes. Identification and quantification of the radio-isotope will facilitate proper handling and treatment of the patient. To this end, we assembled a high-efficiency, well-type NaI crystal and PMT with a Canberra Unispec-Pro Multichannel Analyzer (MCA). We have calibrated the system over a range of energies using available radio-isotopes and developed a library of potential nuclide contaminants that the system will search to provide "tentative" nuclide identification based on photo peaks recognized. In addition, we have also calibrated of photo-peak efficiency of the system for sample activity quantification for a range of radioisotope samples available. Now the system can be used to identify the unknown nuclides present in the sample but because of the system instability and uncertainty in peak-energy identification, it works with variable energy tolerance limit.