Guidelines for medical management of nuclear/radiation emergencies

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Management of victim of radiation injury poses a wide spectrum of challenges to the health care provider starting with the evaluation of the damage, the kind of hospitalization and treatment and the regular monitoring of the patient. Undesirable clinical outcomes are probable if prodromal stage evolves rapidly and is severe. Critical systems like neurovascular, gastrointestinal, haematopoietic and cutaneous are afflicted in Acute Radiation Syndrome. Three main elements which are essential for assessment of prognosis and selection of treatment are vomiting onset time, kinetics of depletion of lymphocyte, and chromosome abnormalities. Larger incidents warrant, a well-structured national response system. Health care institutions must develop protocols to respond to radiation exposure related emergencies in tandem with the local response teams. Multidisciplinary approach between clinical specialists, nursing staff and psychological experts is of critical significance. External decontamination, estimation of dose and fluid and electrolyte replacements form part of support therapy. Reverse isolation, antacids, H2 blockers, use of reverse barrier nursing and prophylactic antimicrobials are part of the treatment plan. Patients with severe bone marrow damage will require blood products support. Increased recovery of neutrophils in radiationaccident victims is the rationale for the use of Colony Stimulating Factors. New directions are under evaluation which includes novel cytokine therapies like interleukin-7, keratinocyte growth factor, and thrombopoietin or its analogues. The final decision regarding allogenic haematopoietic stem cell transplant should be considered after considering the irradiation source, particularity of the situations or circumstances, associated injuries and disease.




Nair, V., Karan, D. N., & Makhani, C. S. (2017, October 1). Guidelines for medical management of nuclear/radiation emergencies. Medical Journal Armed Forces India. Elsevier B.V.

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