A Journey to Prepare a Large Urban Academic Medical Center for Radiological Incidents


S. Iverstine, E. C. Pombier, A. Memon, H. Groarke


Hospitals appear to be unprepared for WMD (weapons of mass destruction) events, specifically radiological incidents. A decision was made to develop a program to manage radiological incidents under the umbrella of a comprehensive WMD response program. A medical advisory board was formed with specialist in radiation control as a member. Education, operation, and equipment needs were identified. A set of core competencies for training were established in cooperation with other Florida hospitals. A literature review was conducted and expert advice was gained to establish a protocol for radiological incident management, including specific roles for each of the healthcare and radiation control team members. The testing of the equipment and protocol during drills has provided an opportunity to streamline and refine the potential response to an incident. Further training of personnel and testing of the protocol need to be performed; however, a high level of preparedness for radiological incidents, within a reasonable operating budget, has been established.


This abstract was presented at the 38th Annual Midyear Meeting, "Materials Control and Security: Risk Assessment, Handling, and Detection", Emergency Response Planning and Programs – Part II Session, 2/13/2005 - 2/16/2005, held in New Orleans, LA.

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