Show Summary Details
Page of

Management of radiation poisoning 

Management of radiation poisoning
Chapter:
Management of radiation poisoning
Author(s):

Francis Chin Kuok Choon

and Phua Dong Haur

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199600830.003.0331
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE (www.oxfordmedicine.com). © Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 30 November 2020

In radiation poisoning, a distinction between exposure and contamination should be made. Decontamination by removing clothes, washing of skin, and removal of debris can remove up to 90% of external contaminated radiation. Treatment of acute life-threatening injuries takes priority over treatment of radiation poisoning. Triage of severely exposed patients can give an indication of dose and severity of the radiation dose absorbed. Survival is related to dose absorbed. Identification of the radiation source should be made by the radiation characteristics to determine the shielding necessary for protection of hospital staff and the antidote required. Early gastric lavage and specific antidotes for ingested radiation poisoning should be used with caution. Death is mainly due to infection and haemorrhage. Acute radiation syndrome (ARS) is a manifestation of haematopoietic, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, central nervous system, and cutaneous syndromes. Those receiving whole body doses of 1–5 Gy may recover easily with appropriate medical management; those with doses of 6–10 Gy may survive with intensive management; and those with doses of >10 Gy seldom survive. Treatment of ARS is supportive with the use of antibiotics, colony-stimulating factors, blood products, and stem cell transplants. Protection of the staff is by reducing time exposed, increasing distance from source and proper shielding. Psychological counselling should be available to patient or staff if required.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.