Other Considerations for Emergency Response & Management of the Consequences of a Radiological/Nuclear Incident

Doran M. Christensen DO
Associate Director/Staff Physician
Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site (REAC/TS)
Oak Ridge Institute for Science & Education (ORISE)
Oak Ridge Tennessee USA


Many factors have the potential to impede the emergency response and management of the consequences of a radiological or nuclear (R/N) incident including the medical response. Risk communications is of prime importance following a multiple casualty incident and even more so following a R/N incident, if for no other reason than to control the volume of people presenting to local healthcare institutions. How fast local authorities respond to the need for radioactive contamination identification/control and assistance for persons who are neither injured nor ill will ultimately affect how many persons present to hospitals for care that may not be needed. Also, identification of persons affected by a R/N incident as the beginning of a process for follow-up will help direct people to appropriate healthcare personnel and facilities. Other issues relate to throughput of cytogenetic biodosimetry laboratories and stem cell transplant facilities that might be required for multiple casualties. Finally, the relative paucity of pharmaceuticals needed for medical countermeasures highlight the need to look at what pharmaceuticals might be available for further research or clinical trials. These issues will be discussed in some detail.