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Clinical Services

Doppler Ultrasound Vascular Assessment

The Medical Physics Department provides an ultrasound Doppler scanning service for the assessment of peripheral arterial and venous disease. The equipment used is an ATL HDI 5000 ultrasound scanner. The service operates Monday and Tuesday mornings and all day Wednesday.

GFR (Glomerular Filtration Rate) Testing

Renal clearance can occur by glomerular filtration or tubular secretion. Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is relatively constant under standard conditions and is independent of urine flow.  Values for normal GFRs are 120±25mls/min/1.73m2.

The patient is given an intravenous injection of 99mTc DTPA in the Nuclear Medicine Department. Sequential blood samples are taken 2, 3 and 4 hours post injection (in-patients can have the samples taken on the ward). The patient’s height and weight is recorded and is used to estimate their body surface area.

The blood samples are centrifuged to separate the plasma.  Plasma from each sample is taken and placed into tubes for radioassay. 

Each sample is then counted and the decrease in activity of the plasma, as a function of post injection time lapse, is used to calculate the GFR.  The GFR value is then normalised to a patient of body surface area of 1.73m2.

Outpatient Nebuliser Loan Service

Medical Physics has been responsible for this service since June 2003, having taken over from the Respiratory Medicine Department.  Equipment is loaned to patients referred to us by either the hospital wards or Respiratory Medicine.

We have two main types of nebuliser pump. These are Profile Portaneb and the Medikare.

We also have a few smaller portable nebulisers (Profile Freeway - various models) for short term loan so that patients can take a nebuliser on holiday with them. It comes complete with carry case, multi voltage mains adapter and car power lead.

If you require the use of one of these nebulisers please contact us in plenty of time before you leave on holiday. These work in the same way as normal nebulisers and use the same kits and preparations, so don't forget to take them with you. 

If you are flying, it is best to get a covering letter from the doctor who is treating you. If you are finding this difficult we may be able to provide one.

Radioiodine Therapy

The Medical Physics Department (in conjunction with Nuclear Medicine) offer a therapy service for the treatment of thyrotoxicosis by radioiodine.

Patient treatments usually comprise of a single outpatient treatment  of between 400 – 600 MBq of the radioisotope iodine 131. The administration of radioiodine is a simple procedure in which a small gelatine capsule containing I131 is swallowed by the patient. For safety reasons this is carried out in the Clinical Room of the Nuclear Medicine Department, DCH and the patients are issued which an instruction card detailing precautions to be taken on returning home etc. These precautions typically remain in force for 1 – 3 weeks depending upon the administered dose.

Schillings Testing

The Medical Physics Department provides a Schilling test service for the measurement of vitamin B12 absorption.

The test involves an intramuscular injection of vitamin B12 together with an oral dose of vitamin B12 labeled with the radioisotope cobalt-57. The radiation dose to the patient is very small (approximately 0.1 mSv), somewhat similar to a low dose X-ray examination.