For Caregivers

Going Home After MIBG

A typical length of stay for an MIBG treatment is 2 to 5 days, but every treatment is different. Environmental Health and Radiation Safety staff will check the radiation level every day. Your child will be discharged when the radioactivity falls to a level that indicates it is safe for your child to be outside of the hospital.

An MIBG scan will be performed prior to discharge to make sure tumor cells took up the I-131 MIBG. It is common for this scan to be very bright and often shows abnormal areas that were not previously known because of the high dose of 131-I MIBG used in treatments compared to typical scans.

When your child is ready to leave at the end of treatment, give him or her a sponge bath (do not use the bathtub) and put on clean clothes. The clothes your child was wearing during treatment should be thrown in the trash box in the room.

At the time of discharge, you will be provided with documentation that your child has received radioactive material as therapy in case you are questioned by security for triggering a radiation detector.

Taking personal items home

When your child is ready to go home, Environmental Health and Radiation Safety staff will monitor your personal items that have been in the treatment room for traces of radiation as you bring them out of the room.

Precautions at home

For five days starting the day of infusion, your child should:

  • Limit the time spent in close contact with others (no closer than 3 feet for more than 1 hour per day).
  • Bathe daily and wash hands frequently, especially after urinating.
  • Flush toilet twice after each use (males should sit to urinate to avoid splashing).
  • Not touch or prepare any food which might be eaten by someone else.
  • Use separate, disposable eating utensils.
  • Not share personal items such as combs and toothbrushes.
  • Use separate towels and washcloths. Launder all of the patient’s bath towels, bed linens, and clothing separately.
  • Sleep by him/herself.
  • Drink plenty of liquids.

For 7 days starting the day of infusion, the child should:

  • Avoid kissing or intimate contact with another person.
  • Minimize close contact with pregnant women and young children.

If the patient is female and of child-bearing age, you should discuss additional precautions with the medical team and Environmental Health and Radiation Safety.