Practical Medical Applications of Dose Magnitude Estimation

Stephen L. Sugarman, MS, CHP, CHCM
REAC/TS Health Physics Project Manager
Oak Ridge Tennessee USA


In the event of a radiation incident it is essential that medical care providers are able to obtain a quick estimate of the radiation dose that a patient may, or may not, have received so that proper treatment can be planned. The information needs to be easily obtained and able to provide a realistic potential of dose magnitude. Various techniques can be employed to help gather the necessary information needed. Evaluation of nasal swabs and wound counts can help with ascertaining the potential for significant intakes of radioactive materials, and mathematical dose estimations can help with determining the potential magnitude of external doses. Coupled with a good event history and other data, health physicists and physicians can develop a strategy for providing proper medical care to individuals who may have been involved in a radiological event.