| || Radiological and Nuclear Emergencies: Medical Management of Radiation Injuries
Author : Shankar, L. Ravi
Source : Defence Science Journal ; Vol:61(2) ; 2011 ; pp 113-117
Subject : 535.374 Radiation Hazards
Keywords : Nuclear disaster;medical management;radiation injuries;nuclear emergency
Abstract : Nuclear radiation which could be in the form of alpha, beta, gamma rays, etc, could cause radioactive contamination, radiation burns, acute radiation syndrome or a combination of any of these above-mentioned disasters. Effects of radiation and the subsequent treatment depend on the severity of exposure and the organs directly involved. Radiation levels up to 200 rads lead to nausea and vomiting whilst radiation levels between 200 rads and 400 rads lead to diarrhea, vomiting and pneumonitis. Whilst 450 rads is lethal in 50 per cent population, doses above this cause increased fatality and organ involvement with the Central Nervous System being affected with 2000 rads radiation. Nuclear disaster management lies most importantly in identifying that patient who would recover if treated immediately. Whereas decontamination of skin and wounds is done first, immediate first aid may take priority in a seriously injured patient. In the event of internal contamination, effective decorporation maybe required. This is followed by prevention and treatment of infections in sterile conditions. Radiation burn injuries will require effective long-term management. Finally, what would be most important is the necessity to have suitable hospital care where bone marrow, stem cell transfusion and restitution of the immune system would take place.