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BIRMINGHAM — Children’s of Alabama performed its first radioiodine thyroid ablation June 11.
Radioiodine ablation, or therapy, is a type of radiation therapy that destroys residual thyroid tissue. This marks the first time the therapy is being performed at Children’s. Previously this type of treatment was offered at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) for Children’s patients. Radioiodine ablation is often used for patients who have hyperthyroidism caused by Grave’s disease or as part of the treatment for certain types of thyroid cancer.
“I am excited that we are able to offer this therapy for our pediatric patients with thyroid disease at a child and adolescent friendly place like Children’s of Alabama,” said Pallavi Iyer, M.D., an associate professor of Pediatrics at UAB who treats patients at Children’s. “We are especially proud of the Nuclear Medicine team at Children’s for working so hard to make this moment a reality.”
In order for Children’s to be licensed for this type of therapy, certain specifications were required for radiation safety, for nearby patients and Children’s employees. A few of the requirements included the construction of a lead-lined room for the patient to live in during treatment, additional radiation warning signage, additional training for the nuclear medicine staff, and nurse training in radiation safety specific to radioiodine therapy. These specifications were necessary to ensure the safety of the patients, their families, caregivers and the general public.
Since 1911, Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children, offering inpatient and outpatient services throughout central Alabama. Ranked among the best pediatric medical centers in the nation by US News & World Report, Children’s provided care for youngsters from every county in Alabama, 45 other states and six foreign countries last year, representing more than 676,000 outpatient visits and more than 15,000 inpatient admissions. With more than 2 million square feet, Children’s is the third largest pediatric medical facility in the U.S. More information is available at childrensal.org.