Thursday 25 August. The installation and acceptance testing of our new Flexitron Brachytherapy machine has gone well – everything passed with excellent results except for one transfer tube (out of 45), which Elekta will replace as soon as possible. It’s good to see lots of items being ticked off our To Do list, showing we are making good progress.
Staff were given formal training yesterday and the machine was officially handed over to Physics this afternoon after Elekta engineer Paul finalised the last little bits of testing. Paul signed his life away on the official Commissioning Documents while Medical Physicist Joel prepared the new system for Physics commissioning testing.
Part of the Physics testing involves checking the radioactive strength of the Iridium 192 (Ir192) source, which allows us to accurately calculate the radiation dose to patients. We use a Well Chamber to do this, which is a device that looks a bit like a, well, a Well!
The radiation emitted from the Ir192 source ionises the gas inside the Well Chamber. This creates an electrical charge which we can measure and convert to radioactive strength. The measurement is dependent on ambient air pressure and temperature. In our lead photo Joel is measuring the temperature inside the Well Chamber.
In the meantime our Physics Registrars, Tina and Dane, are working on the Treatment Planning System, creating a set of standard library plans to treat our gynaecological patients.
The past few days have been very long and intense, so the team is in need of sustenance!