Advising health and emergency professionals on the medical aspects of human exposure to radiation
The Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site (REAC/TS), based at the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), is always on call to provide expertise to physicians worldwide regarding the medical aspects of a radiological or nuclear incident.
As a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)/National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) deployable asset, REAC/TS provides emergency response services in a radiological/nuclear event. Specialized response teams consist of physicians, nurses, paramedics and health physicists, with the team composition based on the needs of the response.
REAC/TS teams provide consultation and expertise regarding rapid dose assessment, radiological and medical triage, efficient diagnosis and medical management of radiological/nuclear incidents. REAC/TS response teams deploy with advanced medical equipment and maintain training in advanced medical and trauma life support.
REAC/TS professionals engage in national level exercises, tabletop exercises and exercise events for other agencies and facilities that involve radiological/nuclear materials, providing expertise on the medical management of the victims. In the event of an actual radiological/nuclear incident, health physicists from REAC/TS and ORISE can provide dose and event reconstruction, which are critical steps in understanding radiation exposure and determining appropriate treatments.
A cytogenetic biodosimetry laboratory, which can be used to determine the radiation dose to a victim, is also located at ORISE in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Radiation Accident Registry
REAC/TS staff maintains the Radiation Accident Registry with important information concerning radiological/nuclear incidents worldwide. REAC/TS also maintains a DTPA and Prussian Blue registry as well as a tissue repository.
Information for these accident registries is gathered from many sources, including the World Health Organization, International Atomic Energy Agency, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, state radiological health departments, as well as medical and health physics literature. The registries also include information from medical professionals who call REAC/TS for assistance when an incident occurs.
Registries maintained by REAC/TS include:
- U.S. and Foreign Radiation Accident Registry
- Diethylenetriaminepentaacetic Acid (DTPA) User Registry
- Prussian Blue Registry
Data from the registry system are used to determine the efficacy of treatment protocols, to monitor trends in morbidity and mortality and as a database for follow-up of accident survivors.
What to do if you need to contact REAC/TS during an emergency?
If you need to contact REAC/TS for assistance with a radiation exposure, please watch this video to know what information is needed for us to address your questions and concerns.