The accidental or hostile exposure of individuals to ionizing irradiation is of great public and military concern. Radiation sickness (acute radiation syndrome, or ARS) occurs when the body is exposed to a high dose of penetrating radiation within a short period of time. Systemic infection is one of the serious consequences of ARS. There is a direct relation between the magnitude of radiation exposure and the risk of developing infection. The risk of systemic infection is higher whenever there is a combined injury such as burn or trauma. Ionizing radiation enhances infection by allowing translocation of oral and gastrointestinal flora, and reducing the threshold of sepsis due to endogenous and exogenous microorganisms. The potential for concomitant accidental or terrorism-related exposure to bio-terrorism agents such as anthrax and radiation also exists.

This site is made of a home page that presents new developments and updates on the management of acute radiation syndrome including concomitant exposure to radiation and anthrax. Separate pages are dedicated to the treatment modalities.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Radiation exposure to workers at Fukushima

The Japanese Association for Acute Medicine Emergency Task Force on the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Accident recently released an article in Emergency Medicine Journal Online First describing the initial medical response. 

A total of 261 patients were seen by the Task Force, eight of whom had external radiation contamination.  Six of these were workers whose exposure doses from March 2011 to February 2012 exceeded the annual dose limit of 250 mSv. The highest external exposure recorded was 110 mSv and the highest internal exposure (probably from iodine-131) was 590 mSv. Importantly, none of the patients developed symptoms associated with acute radiation syndrome/sickness (ARS). The threshold for the hematopoietic syndrome of ARS is considered to be 1 Gy (1000 mSv equivalent).

Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant workers

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