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Radiological Terrorism: Clinical and Public Health Aspects
Broadcast Date: March 16, 2006
(1 hour 30 minutes)
While radiation accidents have been the prevailing mode of human radiation injury in the last half-century, the intentional use of a radiation detonation or exposure device has become an unfortunate possibility. Modern day radiological threats can assume the form of five general categories: (1) an attack on nuclear power plants; (2) a malevolent act using a silent radiological source; (3) use of a radiological dispersal device (RDD) or a "dirty bomb"; (4) use of an improvised nuclear device, or (5) the use of a nuclear weapon.
Health effects from radiation can result from whole body exposure or contamination (internal or external). Clinical illnesses include acute radiation sickness, local radiation burns and long term carcinogenic and teratogenic effects.
First responder protocols are being delineated and issues in decontamination and potential risks to healthcare providers are being addressed by Federal as well as local and state public health entities.
Supportive measure remains the mainstay of treatment. Colony stimulating factors and radiological chelators such as Prussian blue and DPTA have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration as additional therapeutic options to be used in the care of victims.
Ziad Kazzi, MD
Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Guest Researcher, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Public health professionals, healthcare providers, first responders, community planners, leaders of volunteers and faith-based organizations that assist affected communities.
None for this program.
Contact for Technical Assistance
(334) 206-5618 or email ALPHTN
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