Results of Online Survey “How Aware Are You about Iodine Prophylaxis?”

At the beginning of August, the Editorial Board of the website conducted an online survey to find out how much Ukrainians know about iodine prophylaxis. The 7 most frequently asked questions about taking potassium iodide pills were chosen for the survey.

For the first question “In what case is it necessary to carry out iodine prophylaxis?” three versions of the answer were offered. Most of the participants answered correctly: in the event of an accident at a nuclear power plant with a confirmed release of radioactive iodine or in the event of a nuclear accident. However, 11.1% of respondents chose the option: annually for prevention.

The second question related to the time of taking the potassium iodide drug. Among the proposed answers, all the options were correct, because potassium iodide must be taken after notification by local executive authorities, 6 hours or less before the intake of radioactive iodine and directly, before or within 30 minutes from the start of inhalation of radioactive iodine aerosols. However, only 44.4% of respondents chose “All answers are correct”, the rest were convinced of the first option, which is also correct, but not fully disclosed.

Of course, the Editorial Board could not ignore the question about the number of potassium iodide pills to use during an accident at a nuclear power plant with a confirmed release of radioactive iodine or in the event of a nuclear accident. Only 11.1% thought it was necessary to take 2 pills of 125 mg potassium iodide. The rest of the survey participants have chosen the correct option: 1 pill of 125 mg potassium iodide.

An important point in taking potassium iodide is that the drug is used once, which 88.9% of the survey participants knew about, but still there is a percentage of people, namely 11.1%, who believe that the pills should be taken daily during the release of radioactive iodine, which is a false judgment, because !potassium iodide should be used once.

There are many myths about the use of potassium iodide, namely that this drug can be replaced with iodine solution, betadine or Lugol’s solution. Therefore, the fifth question was about alternative means. 77.8% of people chose the correct option that these drugs are prescribed only for dermal use. However, 11.1% and 11.1% have chosen that potassium iodide can be replaced with alcohol solution of iodine and Lugol’s solution, respectively.

Who needs to take potassium iodide and who doesn’t? In question 6, survey participants had to choose the correct answers from the listed options, namely that potassium iodide can be taken by adults up to 45 years old, children, adolescents, pregnant women, and nursing mothers. Adults over 40 years of age and anyone who does not have a thyroid gland do not need to take potassium iodide.

The last question concerned the use of potassium iodide by children and its dosage. 22.2% of participants believed that children should not take potassium iodide, and 11.1% believed that the dosage should be the same as for adults. However, the correct option is that children from 3 to 12 years old need to take half a pill of potassium iodide.

According to the survey results, all participants who answered the questions correctly received potassium iodide pills.

Everything you need to know about iodine prophylaxis can be found at the link. In the article, specialists of the State Scientific and Technical Center for Nuclear and Radiation Safety answered the most common questions and talked about iodine prevention in detail.

The Editorial Board of the website