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AERB seals machines of GDMC’s radiology department

| | Dehradun | in Dehradun

Finding gross violations of radiation safety norms and absence of mandatory clearances, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) sealed some machines of the department of radiology of Government Doon Medical College (GDMC) hospital on Monday.

The enforcement team of AERB sealed two X-ray and one mammography machines and pasted warning of seizing CT scan, digital X-ray and Ultra sound machine if necessary safety measures are not adopted within a month.

The enforcement team including, Manju Saini, BK Singh, Rajshree Pai, LM Sharma and Ajit Singh, came on a surprise visit on Monday and virtually raided radiology department of the hospital.

The teams’ arrival created panic in the administration of the medical college hospital. The hospital administration scrambled to provide answers of the questions posed by the members of the team. It was found that all the machines of the biggest hospital of the State in Government sector were functioning without registration.

What was more shocking that most of the machines were found to be obsolete and were a grave health hazard for both the patients and those operating them. To the astonishment of the AERB team members no technician or doctor was found wearing the mandatory Thermo Luminescent Dosimeter (TLD) badge used for measuring ionising radiation exposure. Many employees of the department even expressed ignorance about such a device.

The AERB team leader BK Singh said that the GDMC had applied for registration of AERB in 2015-16 but after that it did nothing. He said that the no X-ray machine operator was found wearing necessary Lead apron and no Quality Assurance (QA) measures were found taken by the department.

“The TLD badges were not found anywhere and operators were taking dental X-rays on the big old machines thereby exposing whole body of the unsuspecting patients to the harmful radiations. These rays have negative effect on the body and pituitary the master gland in particular is most susceptible to the radiations. Prima facie every equipment of the department looked dangerous. In view of the heavy patient flow and the problem it may cause to them we are letting off the department with a warning for some of the important machines. However, the department has only one month’s time to take the necessary measures  and take permission failing which we will have no option but to seal all the machines,’’ he said.

When contacted the Principal of the GDMC, Dr Pradeep Bharati Gupta said that the State health department failed to get the necessary clearances when these machines were installed. When the hospital was transferred to medical college, the process of registration was initiated and the AERB team visit on Monday was part of the process, he said.

The Principal further claimed that only non-working machines were sealed and other machines a time period of one month is given. He said that the process have been initiated for renewal of the permission.

The AERB was constituted in the year 1983 under Atomic energy act to carry out certain regulatory and safety function. Its mission is to ensure the use of ionising radiation and nuclear energy in India does not cause undue risk to the health of people and the environment.




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