Global Nuclear Medicine Community Shares COVID-19 Strategies and Experiences

April 1, 2020

In an effort to provide safer working environments for nuclear medicine professionals and their patients, clinics across five continents have shared their approaches to containing the spread of COVID-19 in a series of editorials, published ahead of print in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine. This compilation of strategies, experiences and precautions is intended to support nuclear medicine clinics as they make decisions regarding patient care.

Dr. Li Wenliang and the Time of COVID-19

Johannes Czernin

  • Nuclear medicine clinics are usually very safe, low-risk, low-stress environments. This has changed now as each patient can be infected, and staff members can be asymptomatic carriers or become symptomatic while providing services. 

Imaging Clinic Operations in the Times of COVID-19: Strategies, Precautions and Experiences

Johannes Czernin, Stefano Fanti, Philipp T. Meyer, Martin Allen-Auerbach, Marcus Hacker, Mike Sathekge, Rodney Hicks, Andrew M. Scott, Jun Hatazawa, Mijin Yun, Heiko Schöder, Peter Bartenstein, and Ken Herrmann

  • An overview of different approaches from leading nuclear medicine experts for containing the spread of the COVID-19 virus to help support your decision making.

Incidental Findings Suggestive of COVID-19 in Asymptomatic Patients Undergoing Nuclear Medicine Procedures in a High Prevalence Region

Domenico Albano, Francesco Bertagna, Mattia Bertolia, Giovanni Bosio, Silvia Lucchini, Federica Motta, Maria Beatrice Panarotto, Alessia Peli, Luca Camoni, Frank M. Bengel, and Raffaele Giubbini

  • For patients undergoing essential nuclear medicine procedures, incidental findings can suggest signs of COVID-19.

Diagnostic Evaluation of Pulmonary Embolism During the COVID-19 Pandemic 

Lionel S. Zuckier, Renée M. Moadel, Linda B. Haramati, and Leonard Freeman 

  • Recommendations for ventilation/perfusion scintigraphy during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

NEW:
Guidance and Best Practices for Nuclear Cardiology Laboratories during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic: An Information Statement from ASNC and SNMMI [Preprint]

Hicham Skali, Venkatesh L Murthy, Mouaz H. Al-Mallah, Tim M Bateman, Rob Beanlands, Nathan Better, Dennis A. Calnon, Vasken Dilsizian, Alessia Gimelli, Robert Pagnanelli, Donna M. Polk, Prem Soman, Randall C. Thompson, Andrew J. Einstein, and Sharmila Dorbala

  • In this Information Statement, SNMMI and the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) address the practice of nuclear cardiology in the setting of the current COVID-19 pandemic, reflecting the perspectives of diverse practices across the United States and worldwide.


From the SNMMI and SNMMI-TS Presidents: New COVID-19 Resources for Members (April 3)

A Message from the SNMMI-TS President (March 31)

From the SNMMI President: SNMMI Announces COVID-19 Resource Center (March 27)

From the SNMMI President: SNMMI: Standing with You Against COVID-19 (March 19)

From the SNMMI President: Mo-99 Supply Chain Update (March 16)

 

Nuclear Medicine–Specific Information

Physician Access to PPE
Ventilation/Perfusion (V/Q) Studies
Radioisotope Supply


From The Journal of Nuclear Medicine (JNM)
 

Dr. Li Wenliang and the Time of COVID-19

Johannes Czernin

  • Nuclear medicine clinics are usually very safe, low-risk, low-stress environments. This has changed now as each patient can be infected, and staff members can be asymptomatic carriers or become symptomatic while providing services. 
Imaging Clinic Operations in the Times of COVID-19: Strategies, Precautions and Experiences

Johannes Czernin, Stefano Fanti, Philipp T. Meyer, Martin Allen-Auerbach, Marcus Hacker, Mike Sathekge, Rodney Hicks, Andrew M. Scott, Jun Hatazawa, Mijin Yun, Heiko Schöder, Peter Bartenstein, and Ken Herrmann

  • An overview of different approaches from leading nuclear medicine experts for containing the spread of the COVID-19 virus to help support your decision making.
Incidental Findings Suggestive of COVID-19 in Asymptomatic Patients Undergoing Nuclear Medicine Procedures in a High Prevalence Region

Domenico Albano, Francesco Bertagna, Mattia Bertolia, Giovanni Bosio, Silvia Lucchini, Federica Motta, Maria Beatrice Panarotto, Alessia Peli, Luca Camoni, Frank M. Bengel, and Raffaele Giubbini

  • For patients undergoing essential nuclear medicine procedures, incidental findings can suggest signs of COVID-19.
Diagnostic Evaluation of Pulmonary Embolism During the COVID-19 Pandemic 

Lionel S. Zuckier, Renée M. Moadel, Linda B. Haramati, and Leonard Freeman 

  • Recommendations for ventilation/perfusion scintigraphy during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Government Resources

World Health Organization (WHO)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)

Department of Defense

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR)

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

National Academy of Medicine (NAM)

National Cancer Institute (NCI) New

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

National Science Foundation

Other Resources

American College of Physicians New

American Medical Association

Association of American Medical Colleges

COVID-19 Data Websites

ECRI

Elsevier Novel Coronavirus Information Center

European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM)

MIM Software

  • During the pandemic, MIM Software is making free licenses available to its users so they can work from home. Request a license.

References Related to Sterilizing Masks for Reuse New

These articles may be helpful if you need to stretch your supply of respirators. See also ECRI video above. Please note: Several of these articles are preprints and have not yet been peer reviewed. Accordingly, they are provided for informational purposes only and should not be used to guide clinical practice.

 

Training and Certification

American Association of Physicists in Medicine

  • All AAPM in-person meetings, plans for AAPM funded travel and meetings of other groups at HQ are to be canceled through April 30, 2020. Find more information here.
  • Update for graduate program directors regarding recent developments in graduate medical physics education in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (March 18)

American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS)

  • ABMS reaffirms support for physicians to focus their priorities on patients, families, and the communities they serve. (March 26)

American Board of Nuclear Medicine (ABNM)

American Board of Science in Nuclear Medicine

  • The ABSNM currently plans to give the General and Specialty Examinations as scheduled on June 12, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. See more updates here.

American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT)

  • ARRT COVID-19 Update: ARRT is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and how it could affect students and RTs. RTs who have questions related to their postprimary eligibility pathway requirements, renewals, CQR, or other issues should log on to their online accounts first to see if they’ve received an update specific to their concerns.  

American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT)

JRCNMT

  • The JRCNMT is closely monitoring the latest information regarding the COVID-19 virus and considering its potential impact on programs and site visits. Find information here.

Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board (NMTCB)

Resources for Residents

2020 Annual Meeting Status

Much like you, the SNMMI leadership has been closely following the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation—monitoring the latest recommendations provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to help address its inevitable impact on the nuclear medicine and molecular imaging community.

We are aware that many of your organizations now have temporary travel policies in place to best protect the health of your patients, as well as yours and that of your staff. Given the importance of your work, we are pleased to hear of this quick response being implemented to help limit any outbreak at your institutions, as well as limiting exposure to any patient populations.

We also understand that because of the critical work you do, providing you with unparalleled learning opportunities to examine the latest research and clinical applications helping transform medicine and improve lives remains essential.

So, despite these uncertainties we are currently planning to hold the SNMMI 2020 Annual Meeting as scheduled, June 13-16 in New Orleans. We are also exploring multiple alternate scenarios that will allow us to move forward with producing a positive, enriching Annual Meeting experience. We recognize the situation remains fluid for families and organizations as healthcare officials and governments continue to work to contain this outbreak and we will continue to adjust, as needed.

Public safety is of the utmost importance and SNMMI will make any and all decisions related to this health crisis with that as our guiding principal. To keep you informed, this page will be updated frequently as new information becomes available.

We thank you for your patience and understanding while we explore the best possible solutions to serve you and the nuclear medicine and molecular imaging community during this challenging time.

Warm Regards,

Vasken Dilsizian, MD
SNMMI President


Webinars and Resources

APSA webinar: How to Support & Retain Early Career Physician-Scientists / Impact of COVID-19 on This Cohort New
April 4, 2020 • 2 pm Eastern

Early career physician scientists are particularly vulnerable to leaking out of the pipeline. In this American Physician Scientists Association webinar, we will discuss optimal ways to support this cohort, unique challenges faced, ways we can help and the importance of diversity with a world-renowned panel of experts. We will also hear responses to COVID-19 and learn strategies to mitigate research interruption.

Click here to register.


IAEA Webinar Recording Now Available—Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic: Challenges for the Nuclear Medicine Departments

On March 25, the IAEA's Division of Human Health organized a webinar, Challenges for Nuclear Medicine Departments, in which an international panel of experts answered a series of questions related to how to deal with COVID-19 in nuclear medicine departments. 

SNMMI National Office Status

Updated March 18, 2020

All in-person events sponsored by the society in March and April, including the SNMMI Board of Directors meeting, will now be held virtually. With our extensive experience in hosting webinars and online meetings, we are confident that these virtual functions will prove both effective and engaging, furthering our goal of improving human health through nuclear medicine, molecular imaging and radionuclide therapy.

We have taken appropriate precautions to keep our leadership and staff safe. We have cancelled all non-essential travel and limited in-person meetings. Staff are working remotely, and the society remains 100% operational and ready to serve you. This means you can still access any and all online services and call or email with membership and customer service related inquiries.



Contact Us

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We are here to help. We are regularly polling members to find out what challenges you are facing and how SNMMI can support you.
Please contact us with any issues or questions at covidhelp@snmmi.org, and we will do everything within our power to assist.

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