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Medical Preparedness and Response

Educational Material

English EPR-MEDICAL/T-2002/CD 92-0-135202-6
15.00 2002

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Radiation is widely used in medicine, industry, agriculture and research and provides invaluable benefits. However, radiation sources can be lost or stolen and cause injuries to the people who come into contact with them. Such exposure incidents are rare but it is important that doctors have the means to identify them. This is of particular relevance, given current concern about the potential malevolent use of radioactive sources. The experience gained from past accidental exposures is that often the victims of radiation emergencies are unaware that they may have been exposed to radiation. Even if health consequences of exposure are first seen by medical doctors, a proper diagnosis may not be immediately forthcoming. Lack of knowledge about the clinical effects of radiation exposure is one of the main reasons why many accidental injuries are not recognized sufficiently early to prevent further exposures and to provide for the most effective treatment.
This educational material is based on a IAEA-WHO training course on Medical Preparedness and Response to Radiation Emergencies promoting a wider understanding of the health consequences of radiation exposure among health authorities and medical personnel.

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