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 24, 2014

U.S. Navy personal report radiation related illness after Fukushima relief mission

Immediately following the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, a relief effort by the United States Navy provided humanitarian aid to those affected. The operation called “Operation Tomodachi” evolved 70,000 Department of Defense-affiliated personnel.  Three years later, some U.S. Navy personnel claim that they are experiencing mysterious symptoms, including hemorrhaging and cancer. In some cases, their doctors cannot provide diagnoses and therefore cannot determine if the illnesses are radiation-related. The U.S. government denied that radiation has caused these illnesses.

Convinced their illnesses were caused by radiation exposure, 71 of these sailors filed a lawsuit against the Tokyo Electric Power Company ( Tepco)  which operates the Fukushima power plant. Janis Sammartino, a federal judge in San Diego, dismissed the case because lack of authority to conclude whether the government of Japan collaborated with the utility to commit fraud against the U.S. However Charles Bonner the attorney for the 51 U.S. sailors who served aboard the USS Ronald Reagan during disaster relief operations intends to refill the lawsuit. The sailors asked for the creation of a one billion dollar fund to pay for their medical exams, monitoring and treatments, as well as reimbursement of lost wages and punitive damages, among other relief. According to the lawyer, Tepco and Japanese government officials claimed there was no danger of radiation to the USS Reagan or other ships in the fleet during the mission. However, many of the sailors claimed that they were exposed to environmental radiation levels that far exceeded the permissible ones.

Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan wash down the flight deck to remove potential radiation 

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