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Brain Surgery and the Application of Radiation

Generally speaking, tumors that grow in the brain are often good candidates for radiosurgery. This involves an application of radiation that goes through the skull and tissue and concentrates on the targeted mass. The whole process is bloodless, so skin and skull do not have to be opened to apply.

Radiosurgery is the common term for a type of radiation therapy that is usually done on the brain. Also known as stereotactic surgery, it usually involves one application of strong radiation concentrated on the tumor, yet saving the healthy normal tissue. The patient will receive radiation via linear accelerator or some radiation source directed by a collator. There will be many small beams sent through the skull into the brain converging on the mass. Radiation therapy will work both for malignant and non-malignant tumors.

Types of Radiation Brain Surgery

Radiation therapy has been a great boost for the field of brain surgery. This is a technique that will not only mean less invasive methods, but the patient's cost and recovery time is greatly reduced.

Radiation particles come in many forms, for example the company Elekta's radiosurgery tool, the "Gamma Knife," uses doses of gamma rays that bombard the cancer growth. This uses 201 beams of small focused radiation to converge onto the cancer tumor. The source of radiation comes from an isotope of cobalt. The concept was created more that 30 years ago by a scientist named Lars Leksel, Professor of Neurosurgery at Karolinsk Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

Another radiosurgery tool, with the trade name Cyberknife, sends out tumor killing x-rays instead of Gamma ones. The beam is controlled by a robotic arm that uses data from mapping software to target the mass. The software that is used, called 6D, maps the tumor in an unusual way. It will compensate for patient movement as well as use the x-ray data to pinpoint the targeted area while compensating for projected error. They claim to bring the accuracy to 0.5 mm of error. Like the Gammaknife, it can be used for both malignant and non-malignant matter. However, one main different between the two is that Gammaknife is designed only for cranial radiation therapy.

Patient Expectations with Radiosurgery

Because the radiation therapy is done non-invasively, patients will spend less time recovering, often not even needing to recover by rest at all. In the example of using the Gamma Knife procedure, the patient can resume normal activity a day after the procedure.

The Gamma Knife does take long to administer either. It can take 15 minutes to an hour of set up. There are some surgical procedures that are done on the cranium to fit the headset where the beamlets are to be sent through.


Safety Considerations For Those Working With Dangerous Substances

It is inevitable in many industries that workers will be exposed to dangerous substances, causing the need for considerable safety efforts like wearing protective clothing, such as a disposable shoe cover set or disposable shirts. A split second of simple exposure to dangerous substances can result in blindness, burns, breathing complications, and death. This is why safety should be a paramount concern and workers should keep safety in mind to prevent accident or injury when working with dangerous substances.

The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)

The WHMIS is a detailed education program and standardized system for those working with chemicals. It includes recommendations on how to work with and store various chemicals, including those posing injury, biohazard, fire, and chronic health condition dangers. The WHMIS provides a comprehensive set of safety procedures and outlines what workers should do in the event of a mishap.

The largest part of the WHMIS includes Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) that list the labeling requirements, handling procedures, safety information, and dangers for each hazardous chemical. Every business that works with chemicals is required to have these sheets readily available at all times. The employees working with hazardous chemicals should thoroughly understand how these sheets work.

Disposable Shoe Cover Sets And Other Forms Of Protective Apparel

Besides having the proper education to work with dangerous substances, workers should wear safety apparel such as disposable shirts, disposable pants, disposable shoe cover sets, rubber gloves, and more. The protective apparel needed depends on the chemicals and other dangerous substances worked with. For example, flame retardant disposable shirts and apparel are required for workers working with flammable chemicals. Workers may need a full suit and a disposable shoe cover set or they may just need a disposable shirt to protect against chemical splash.

Other Forms Of Safety Equipment Needed

In addition to protective apparel, workers will often require special safety equipment. For example, chemicals that give off fumes or that spray will usually require the use of a respirator or a lightweight particulate mask for protection. Depending on the situation, eye and ear protection may be required.

Outside Factor Concerns

Area safety is crucial as outside factors commonly cause accidents, including sharp objects tearing through a disposable shoe cover set or a sparking machine that ignites flammable substances. Other employees can also often present significant dangers. This can be prevented by making sure workers have adequate training and are aware of the proper safety procedures. The best way to prevent accidents and injuries is by identifying and pointing out potential hazards and dangerous situations.

Be Prepared To Deal With Accidents

Make sure the work area is prepared for every potential accident, including having medical necessities such as a fully stocked first aid kit and an eyewash station along with workers trained in administering any first aid needed.

Work areas should also have cleaning supplies adequate for quickly cleaning up a spill or any type of liquid contamination, such as cleaning up an oily spill with sawdust or kitty litter. In addition, a team of specialists should be ready to contain any mess within minutes of it happening.

When failing to take property safety precautions, the workplace can become a dangerous place. Items such as a disposable shoe cover set, disposable shirts, respirators, protective goggles, first aid kits, and more play a vital role in keeping workers safe when working with hazardous chemicals and other dangerous substances.


Developing A Chemical Hygiene Plan To Keep Everyone In The Lab Safe

Finding work in any kind of laboratory can be an exciting career but it can also be pretty dangerous, if you aren't careful. Most labs are full of chemicals and precision instruments that can be hazardous if misused.

Knowing little or nothing about what kind of hazards can arise in your workplace can actually make you much more vulnerable to injury, which is the last thing you need at work.

That is why many laboratories develop what are called Chemical Hygiene Plans, often shortened to CHPs to help to inform their workers how to monitor their use of potentially perilous substances in the lab setting.

If the lab in which you work does not have its own CHP, you should sensitively suggest to one of your supervisors that you develop one, and it should include some of the following things.

This may seem like a given, but be sure to have clearly posted the contact information of all important laboratory personnel. Also have easy access to numbers for Poison Control and other emergency services. Do not hesitate to make contact with supervisors or medical services when necessary.

Every member of the laboratory team needs to agree upon a set of procedures to enact when there is an emergency, including an evacuation route. The route should be posted clearly, and there should be frequent reminders of the plan. It should be included in training sessions for new workers.

Be sure to maintain an accurate chemical inventory. Make sure that this inventory is given an easily discernable title and heading. Make sure it includes the room number and building name, the name of the department, the person who is responsible for making the inventory, and the date which it was made.

The list of chemicals itself should in a concise manner identify the chemical name, the approximate amount, the location of that chemical within the lab, any possible quantity changes, and some basic hazard warnings, which can be limited to abbreviations like "TOX," for toxic. Make sure these things are understood by all staff.

All kinds of laboratories across various industries are in need temperature sensors. Make sure that yours are up to date with advancing technology and as sensitive as you need them to be. Teach all employees to pay close attention to them to avoid burns or contact with materials not suitable for handling.
When your employees are well educated and prepared, they will be safer all-around, which continues to make their work more exciting and rewarding. And when their work is rewarding, they will certainly be more productive and that benefits everybody.


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