Medical Preparedness in Radiation Accidents: a Matter of Logistics and Communication not Treatment!

A Staudenherz, T Leitha


The currently reactor wreckage in Fukushima raised the following important questions: Is our knowledge of the possible dangers of ionizing radiation sufficient to warrant special action? What is the role of the medical community in technical radiation accidents from Windscale to Fukushima? What is the role of the medical community in terrorist radiation attacks? Are we prepared for those challenges? How can medical services communicate information in the media framework? What have we learned recently? And, what should be improved? In this review of the current literature on ionizing radiation, we try to answer these questions. Our conclusion is that medical services have to improve their communication skills and convince the public that the dangers of ionizing radiation can be quantitated within certain limits to support a qualified discussion about its risks and benefits.


Mass casualty incidents; Radiation, ionizing; Emergency preparedness; Nuclear power plants; Radiation injuries; Radiation risk; Communication; Logistics

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 pISSN: 2008-6520
 eISSN: 2008-6814

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