Program - Single Session

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Emergency Response and Incidents

Wednesday 02/08/2023

Room: Memorial Union 49

14:30 - 16:30

Chair(s): Joshua Hayes, Cheryl Antonio

WPM-B.1  14:30  Internal/External Dose Magnitude Estimation in a Radiological Emergency. Hayes Joshua*, REAC/TS

Early radiation dose assessment is a vital component to a radiological emergency response, but it does not need to be overly complicated. The goal of early dose assessment is to determine the magnitude of the radiation dose versus the specific dose. Early dose assessments are used to guide medical management, not assign doses to individuals. Specific dose assignment is carried out at a later phase of the response. Therefore, dose magnitude estimation is an important triage tool to support medical planning for individuals affected by nuclear or radiological emergencies. The intention is to determine if there is a cause for medical concern, and if so, how immediate is the need for medical care? It is essential for the treatment team to receive timely advice so that the treating physician can make the appropriate early medical decisions. This talk will discuss a series of thumb rules and techniques to gain an idea of the potential dose imparted on the patient from both internal and external radiation sources.

WPM-B.2  15:30  The McCluskey Case: Explosion in a Glove Box and Resultant Americium-241 Contamination. Antonio Cheryl*, HMIS; Carbaugh Eugene H., Retired   CHERYL_L_ANTONIO@RL.GOV

On August 30, 1976 an americium-241 ion exchange column exploded in a Hanford Site waste management facility causing significant damage to the hood containing the column, extensive facility radiological contamination, and spraying an operator with highly contaminated nitric acid and debris. The worker underwent medical treatment for acid burns, as well as wound debridement, extensive personal skin decontamination and long-term DTPA chelation therapy for decorporation of americium-241. Because of the contamination levels and prolonged decontamination efforts, care was provided for the first three months at a unique emergency decontamination facility with gradual transition to the patient’s home occurring over another two months. The accident underwent an extensive investigation as to cause, response, lessons learned, therapy, and dosimetry, and has been well documented in numerous reports and journal articles. The lessons learned with regard to patient treatment and effectiveness of therapy still form the underlying philosophy of treatment for transuranic-contaminated injuries. Changes in infrastructure and facilities as well as societal expectations make for interesting speculation as to how responses might differ today.

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