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CBRNE – Nuclear and Radiologic Decontamination

Overview

In light of the events of September 11, 2001, terrorist attack has moved to the forefront of emergency department (ED) and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) planning.
The use of radiologic weaponry is one threat that must be considered. In addition to attack by terrorists, preparations must also be made for a nuclear power plant disaster or contamination by radiologic medical sources. The explosions at the Fukushima Daiichi Japanese nuclear power plant after the March 2011 massive earthquake increased fear of contamination from radiation.
In the event of radiologic contamination, rapid treatment can be lifesaving.

Properly completed, rapid decontamination can reduce morbidity and mortality, limit the spread of contamination, and keep the ED functioning for the treatment of other patients.

For related information, see Medscape Reference article CBRNE – Radiation Emergencies.

For patient education resources, visit the First Aid and InjuriesCenter. Also, see the patient education article Chemical Warfare.

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