Radiation Accidents of Interest

Marina Vazquez MD
Radiopathology Network, Nuclear Regulatory Authority
Buenos Aires Argentina


During the last 60 years, almost 6000 people were reported to have suffered significant radiation exposure; however, a great number of radiological incidents were not immediately recognized. Consequently, it can be suggested that the real cause of such incidents is still unknown. In addition, regarding the medical care of the overexposed, a number of medical mistakes have been made especially in diagnosis and treatment, mainly because of ignorance of radiological effects. When the number of actual or potential casualties grows, and following an incident which may draw the attention of the media, handling the radiological or nuclear emergency can be complicated by a lack of efficiency and effectiveness in the management of resources. An analysis of recent incidents demonstrates that they may occur in any type of region or country. Their occurrence or their adverse effects vary without regard to the degree of technical and/or economic development. Lack of elementary rules of protection and/or safety or their deficient application, plus inadequate training, are in focus and play a fundamental role in causality of these incidents. In some cases, the consequences were not only medical, but also political, social and economic. Thus, drastic changes produced in these aspects of the affected communities have often caused more harm than radiation itself.