Triage for Radiological Terrorist Incidents


R. C. Craft


If there is a terrorist attack where radioactive materials are effectively dispersed; there may be some injured people that are contaminated. It will be necessary to evaluate and segregate individuals by medical need and contamination level. Contamination levels that are set too low can result in a degradation of medical treatment as well as unnecessary use of resources. Personnel accustomed to current occupational limits may need "Triage Rules" for the classification of contamination levels. These rules should be commensurate with the relative hazards of the contamination in light of the actual injuries and to other hazards involved in a terrorist attack. Medical treatment must take precedence over contamination levels that do not represent a significant radiation dose or health hazard-to the injured or the medical attendants. Adequate medical treatment must not be delayed or compromised due to a fear of contamination that does not present a significant effective dose.


This abstract was presented at the 36th Annual Midyear Meeting, "Radiation Safety Aspects of Homeland Security and Emergency Response", Radiological Incidents, Part 1 Session, 1/26/2003 - 1/29/2003, held in San Antonio, TX.

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