P.E.T. scan facility gets nuclear-grade dampers

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The PET scan setup at St Thomas’ Hospital, Lambeth, is one of the country’s leading research and medical diagnosis facilities, having benefited from a substantial phase of development works concluding in 2014.

Further works on a second phase are now underway, which see Flamgard Calidair working closely with The Designers Group of Engineering Contractors to ensure a safe and appropriate environment for medical specialists to undertake important work, particularly relating to the specific diagnosis of cancer disease progression.

The new PET Centre at the St Thomas Hospital on the 17/01/2014. Photo: David Tett

PET scanning technology utilises positron-emitting radionuclides which are injected into the patient as a tracer. The material required for this process, however, has a short half-life, meaning it can be difficult for a hospital to rely on external suppliers for the material. For this reason, St Thomas’ Hospital has an on-site cyclotron of its own (and in phase two of the works is introducing another), used to manufacture the appropriate radionuclides for use in the PET scanning process.

It is the existence of these cyclotrons – effectively small-scale particle accelerators – that the building spec has a requirement for nuclear-grade ducting and, by inference, nuclear-grade high integrity complete isolation dampers (pictured below) from Flamgard.

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About PET Scanning

Positron Emission Tomography is an imaging technique that produces a three-dimensional image of functional processes in the body. Combining PET with CT (Computed Tomography) or MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) allows for hybrid imaging, which is increasingly being used particularly with cancer patients. PET-CT enables timely diagnosis, aiding patient management and reducing waiting times.

The system detects pairs of gamma rays emitted indirectly by a positron-emitting radionuclide (tracer), which is introduced into the body on a biologically active molecule. Three-dimensional images of tracer concentration within the body are then constructed by computer analysis.

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