The aim of this paper is to compare and contrast the needs for biodosimetry for initial triage for military forces and civilian populations when there are radiation exposures that involve potentially a large number of persons. Several differences in the likely scenarios for exposure of military forces include a greater likelihood of having higher rates of significant exposures, inhomogeneous exposures, significant doses from neutrons, and combined injury. Measurements will be able to begin sooner than for exposures in civilian settings because medical facilities usually are an integral part of the way military forces are deployed. It also will be very feasible to have personnel that will be trained and equipped specifically for rapid deployment to assess dose. As a consequence, the most appropriate biodosimetry techniques will include features that are not present or are less important for civilian settings; i.e., the need for changes that become measureable very soon after the radiation is received, the ability to complete measurements in very close proximity to the subjects (so samples do not need to be transported out and results returned), increased capability of resolving homogeneity of the exposure, ability to be carried out in an injured person, capability of determining whether neutrons have made a significant contribution to dose, and the ability to rely on more sophisticated equipment and trained personnel to carry out the measurements at the point of care.
Health Phys. 106(6):000-000; 2014