The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released the newly developed Radiation Hazard Scale to help public health officials communicate with the public in a radiation emergency. Designed to be simple to understand, the tool’s scale is intended to communicate relative hazards to people under emergency conditions when exact radiation exposure parameters are not available. During the emergency, environmental scientists and radiation safety experts will evaluate the data and, in conjunction with emergency management authorities and public health officials, assign radiation hazard categories. More information is available on the CDC website.
HHS has launched a redesigned online radiation treatment resource. The first major redesign of the Radiation Emergency Medical Management (REMM) website since it launched in 2007 is available at http://www.remm.nlm.gov/.
Through the management of the Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site (REAC/TS), the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) positions the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as an international leader in emergency medical response to radiation incidents.
The REAC/TS course brochure for FY2017 (October 2016 – September 2017) has been posted to the ORISE Website and on-line registration is now available. These courses are held at the REAC/TS Facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
REAC/TS is also available to conduct one or two day training programs at your location. Please e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call (865.576.3131) for additional information.
Emergency services physicians and nurses will be among the first clinicians to see and treat victims of radiation emergencies. Clinicians of all specialties will be responsible for providing care and information to:
Patients admitted to the hospital
Patients presenting for follow-up care
Others with questions about health effects related to the emergency
CDC has developed “Radiological Terrorism: A Tool Kit for Emergency Services” through audience research, significant gaps in knowledge and skills among clinicians regarding their ability to respond to a radiological emergency, particularly one related to terrorism and involving mass casualties. This is a critical need since clinicians in hospital emergency departments would serve as the first receivers of casualties, and other clinicians would present to the emergency department in order to assist. There are numerous issues related to disaster and mass casualty management that are unique to dealing with radiation exposure and contamination, and CDC understands the need to provide education and information to help clinicians better manage such an event.
The tool kit includes several items that may be useful for emergency services clinicians.