Sacramento regional response guide to radiation emergencies
Wells, Mark A.
Gordon, Ellen M.
Bushberg, Jerrold T.
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Accidental or intentional release of radiation may result in catastrophic consequences to urban and suburban populations. Any emergency response is compromised by insufficiently detailed protocols, and qualitative or quantitative wants in equipment and training. These challenges are no less acute for Sacramento County which is an archetype of at-risk suburban and urban settings. Recognized standards in critical patient care illustrate the need for specific considerations for radiological contaminated patients in a response protocol. Current practices in Sacramento require patient decontamination prior to treatment or transport. This may adversely affect survival profiles, despite national and international standards which specifically provide for consideration of alternate procedures. Radiation responses require a systems approach, whereby all work collaboratively toward a common goal. Incident commanders must appreciate their role in a radiation response, and how to incorporate the response into a unified multi-jurisdictional, unified command. Additionally, an essential component of any radiation response protocol is to decrease the associated "fear" of radiation in the general public as well as emergency responders. Best practices research, and recommendations at local, state, national and international levels are compiled into a usable radiation response protocol which can be utilized in formulating protocols in radiation emergency response.
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