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Principles of radiation toxicology 

Principles of radiation toxicology
Chapter:
Principles of radiation toxicology
Author(s):

D Nicholas Bateman

, Robert D Jefferson

, Simon HL Thomas

, John P Thompson

, and J Allister Vale

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199594740.003.0015
Page of

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date: 23 October 2019

Most physicians have little training in radiation toxicology. Radiologists need to understand the principles of radiation for their professional lives, and those who order X-rays for diagnostic purposes are now required to have a basic understanding of radiation dosimetry. With the increasing availability of radiation sources, and widespread use of nuclear power, with potential for major accident in such facilities following natural disasters, it is helpful to have a basic understanding of the different sorts of radiation exposure, the clinical features, assessment of exposure based on these features, and basic principles of management for the different types of radiation. This chapter provides an outline to radiation biology and dosimetry. The different sources of radiation and their biological effects are outlined, and the general principle of triage and management of major radiation release discussed. Finally, in view of the fact that radiation sources have been used to cause major harm by ingestion, the key features of radiation ingestion and management are also discussed.

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