During the Annual Meeting of the EBMT (European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation), being held from March 18 to 21, 2018, the EMBT's "Nuclear Accident Committee" (NAC), IRSN and Ulm University (Germany) will present "the European approach or the medical management of mass radiation exposure", to coincide with the recent 2017 edition of the guide to this approach (1). This approach is the result of a European consensus reached in 2007 regarding the medical management of radiation-induced aplasia* (2). It came about thanks to a joint initiative led by the EBMT, IRSN and Ulm University, which brought together leading European specialists in Hematology to define a strategy for the medical treatment of radiation-exposed patients and for managing mass radiation exposure accidents. It involves a "triage strategy" applied to radiation-exposed patients based on an initial assessment of clinical symptoms, with a view to implementing appropriate treatment protocols.
The EBMT works with a Europe-wide network of 500 Hematology centers and departments, affording considerable capacity for testing and treating patients who need it.
Throughout the medical treatment of such patients, experts from the EBMT constantly update reports on how the clinical scenario is evolving, in order to optimize the care given, even across national borders. The EBMT also manages a European bone marrow transplantation database from which reports on clinical cases can be retrieved in the event of a mass radiation exposure accident.
IRSN, which is a member of the EBMT's NAC, is involved in all this work, mainly through its research on treating radiation-induced aplasia and in its advisory capacity in managing radiation-exposure accidents.
(1) Synthetic guide on the European approach for the medical and therapeutical management of mass radiation exposure (PDF)
(2) NC. Gorin at al., Consensus conference on European preparedness for haematological and other medical management of mass radiation accidents, Annals of Hematology (2006)
* Radiation-induced aplasia: Partial or total bone marrow dysfunction following exposure to ionizing radiation resulting from damage to bone marrow cells (stem cells, progenitor cells and differentiated cells).