Population Monitoring in Radiation Emergencies: A Guide for State and Local Health Planners
Because current capacity to identify, screen and monitor members of the public that may be exposed to radiation as a result of an unexpected nuclear or radiological event is limited, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) help prepare communities for population monitoring.
Population monitoring is a process that begins soon after a radiation incident is reported and continues until all potentially affected people have been monitored and evaluated for:
- Needed medical treatment
- Presence of radioactive contamination on the body or clothing
- Intake of radioactive materials into the body
- Removal of external or internal contamination (decontamination)
- Radiation dose received and the resulting health risk from the exposure
- Long-term health effects
In need of a comprehensive population monitoring guide that would assist communities in preparing for a timely and adequate response to such emergencies, the CDC looked to the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for assistance.
Based on roundtable discussions with local, state, regional and federal agencies, as well as health organizations and personnel, ORISE worked closely with the CDC to help develop a guide that would serve as a tool for public health officials and emergency preparedness planners at the state and local level.
The guide helps authorities:
- Evaluate their emergency response plan
- Identify and prioritize staffing and training needs
- Identify local, state and federal partners
- Address elements that are critical to emergency response planning, especially within the first few hours of the incident and prior to federal assistance
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