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New, easy-to-use medical field guide for radiation emergencies published by REAC/TS at ORISE

Field guide available as free ePub for smart phones

Dec. 6, 2010

REAC/TS Pocket Field Guide

New medical field guide created by REAC/TS prepares healthcare providers to treat patients exposed to or contaminated with radioactive materials.

Oak Ridge, Tenn.—A new pocket field guide titled “The Medical Aspects of Radiation Incidents” has been published as a quick reference for medical care providers treating patients who have been exposed to or contaminated with radioactive materials. Written by certified health physicist Steve Sugarman, Dr. Ronald Goans, Dr. Seaton Garrett and Gordon Livingston, Ph.D. of ORISE’s Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy, the guide includes:

  • Basic radiation protection concepts, terminology, and definitions
  • Occupational exposure and radiological terrorist exposure risks
  • Guidelines for initial medical response to acute local and whole-body injuries
  • Rapid radiation dose assessment
  • Patient and wound decontamination techniques
  • Biodosimetry, or observing biological reactions to determine the radiation dose
  • Delayed effects of radiation exposure, and
  • Psychological considerations

“Health care providers are expected to treat patients injured in a multitude of possible scenarios, and radiation incident victims could be seen in any hospital due to accidental occupational exposure or a radiological attack,” explained Dr. Albert Wiley, medical and technical directorof REAC/TS. “While DOE can rapidly deploy REAC/TS to assist in radiation accidents anywhere in the world, it takes time to arrive on site. Our goal is to arm health care providers with some basic information they need to effectively handle the immediate medical management of radiological emergencies.”

“I found the field guide to be an excellent, handy compilation of the basic decision-making material necessary for the proper medical response to radiological incidents,” said Douglas M. Coldwell, M.D., Ph.D., professor of radiology and director of vascular and interventional radiology at the University of Louisville.

Daniel Blumenthal, Ph.D., a certified health physicist and manager of Consequence Management Programs with DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration noted that the guide has also been well received among many of DOE’s federal headquarters representatives.

ORISE has made the guide available for download at no cost from its website. Users can download it as an ePub, which is a file format that is compatible with various e-book reader software applications to optimize the text display for any smart phone or other mobile device. In addition, the guide is available in print form to those attending any of the approximately 30 training courses REAC/TS offers around the world each year.

REAC/TS is an ORISE facility managed by Oak Ridge Associated Universities for the U.S. Department of Energy with the mission to strengthen the medical response to radiological and nuclear incidents. REAC/TS provides 24/7 medical support and deployment to provide emergency medical consultation for incidents involving radioactive materials and ionizing radiation worldwide. REAC/TS also conducts ongoing research into the biological effects of radiation and provides continuing medical education for healthcare providers.

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) is a U.S. Department of Energy institute focusing on scientific initiatives to research health risks from occupational hazards, assess environmental cleanup, respond to radiation medical emergencies, support national security and emergency preparedness, and educate the next generation of scientists. ORISE is managed by Oak Ridge Associated Universities.

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

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