IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Criticality accident: Dosimetric management for the triage of victims

Congress title :1st Joint Emergency Preparedness and Response/Robotic and Remote Systems Topical Meeting
Congress town :Salt Lake City
Congress date :11/02/2006


Criticality accident : dosimetric management for the triage of victims Severe criticality accidents have clearly demonstrated the need for constant vigilance and an adapted assistance in the decision-making process during triage by selecting which examinations must be carried out. All the results issued from these initial investigations will eventually enable specialized hospital teams to determine both an accurate dosimetric assessment and the adapted prognosis and therapeutics. A work group from health occupational and clinical biochemistry services of French sites has issued, with the help of specialists, essential data charts of guidelines to follow in managing the victims of a criticality accident. Since the priority of the medical management after a criticality accident is to assess the dose and the distribution of dose, some dosimetric investigations have been selected in order to provide a prompt response and to anticipate the final reconstruction of dose. The use of blood and hair is an accurate means to evaluate the neutron global dose and the neutron dose distribution received by victims in a criticality accident. Comparison exercises between clinical biochemistry laboratories from French sites were carried out to confirm that each laboratory maintained the required operational methods for hair treatment and the appropriate equipment for hair and blood activation measurements, and to demonstrate the capability of rapidly providing neutron dose estimates after a criticality accident. Hair and blood samples were irradiated at different doses and configurations. 32P beta emission was measured in hair samples according to two different radiochemicalprotocols. 24Na activity in blood was measured by counting the gamma activity of blood samples. Comparison results of different laboratories showed a good correlation.
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