A Novel Method for Quick Assessment of Internal And External Radiation Exposure in the Aftermath of a Large Radiological Incident

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Abstract

In the event of a significant radiological release in a major urban area where a large number of people reside, it is inevitable that radiological screening and dose assessment must be conducted. Lives may be saved if an emergency response plan and radiological screening method are established for use in such cases. Thousands to tens of thousands of people might present themselves with some levels of external contamination and/or the potential for internal contamination. Each of these individuals will require varying degrees of radiological screening, and those with a high likelihood of internal and/or external contamination will require radiological assessment to determine the need for medical attention and decontamination. This sort of radiological assessment typically requires skilled health physicists, but there are insufficient numbers of health physicists in any city to perform this function for large populations, especially since many (e.g., those at medical facilities) are likely to be engaged at their designated institutions. The aim of this paper is therefore to develop and describe the technical basis for a novel, scoring-based methodology that can be used by non-health physicists for performing radiological assessment during such radiological events.

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