A new paper, below, prompted this cheerful little post.
Concerns an autopsy in Japan where:
"We returned the excised prostate and seeds to the body."
"We should have removed the radioactive seeds from the body to prevent radiation exposure to the bereaved family and/or environmental pollution due to cremation."
Seems like a reasonable concern, but cremation with seeds must have happened tens of thousands of times. Anyone know if it really is an issue?
J Forensic Sci. 2016 Nov 22. doi: 10.1111/1556-4029.13296. [Epub ahead of print]
Lessons Learned from Autopsying an Unidentified Body with Iodine-125 Seeds Implanted for Prostate Brachytherapy.
Idota N1, Nakamura M1, Masui K2, Kakiuchi Y1, Yamada K2, Ikegaya H1.
1Department of Forensic Medicine, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, 465 Kajii-cho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto, 602-8566, Japan.
2Department of Radiology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, 465 Kajii-cho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto, 602-8566, Japan.
We report here lessons learned from an autopsy case involving radioactive materials. We performed an autopsy of an unidentified mummified man with no available medical history whom from imaging findings we suspected had received radioactive seed implants for prostate brachytherapy. We returned the excised prostate and seeds to the body. A few days later, the body was identified by DNA matching and cremated. According to the man's medical record, he had undergone iodine-125 seeds implantation for prostate cancer 11 months earlier. We should have removed the radioactive seeds from the body to prevent radiation exposure to the bereaved family and/or environmental pollution due to cremation. Surprisingly, one seed was found in the stored prostate specimen. Forensic experts should be cognizant of the risk of both radiation exposure in the autopsy room and environmental pollution. We must remain abreast of the latest advances in medicine.
© 2016 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
autopsy; brachytherapy; cremation; forensic science; prostate cancer; radiation exposure; risk management
PMID: 27874186 DOI: 10.1111/1556-4029.13296
[PubMed - as supplied by publisher]