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    Full-text · Article · Nov 2011 · Radiation Research
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    ABSTRACT: The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response in the Department of Health and Human Services develops health and medical response plans for all hazards--natural and human caused. While a nuclear power plant (NPP) incident will take time to evolve, a terrorist incident will have 'no-notice' so that extensive preparation and planning are essential. For radiological/nuclear (rad/nuc) incidents we have developed and continue to refine detailed plans and tools for medical responders for a nuclear detonation and a radiological dispersal device, which also serve for any type of rad/nuc incident. The plans are based on the best available basic science with the goal of providing planners and responders with just-in-time information and tools. There is much in common across the range of hazards, so that the products developed for rad/nuc incidents have helped overall preparedness. A major consideration in the development of new diagnostics, medical treatment and countermeasures for radiation injury is that of 'dual utility' with potential for routine medical use for cancer care. Participation and collaboration among nations helping the Japanese response to the Fukushima earthquake, tsunami and NPP disaster demonstrated the benefit of preparation and ongoing worldwide cooperation among experts.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2012 · Journal of Radiological Protection
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    ABSTRACT: Following the earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan on 11 March 2011, and the ensuing damage to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant complex, a request by the U.S. Ambassador to Japan to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) resulted in deployment of a five-person team of subject matter experts to the U.S. Embassy. The primary purpose of the deployment was to provide the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo with guidance on health and medical issues related to potential radiation exposure of U.S. citizens in Japan, including employees of the U.S. Department of State at consulates in Japan and American citizens living in or visiting Japan. At the request of the Government of Japan, the deployed health team also assisted Japanese experts in their public health response to the radiation incident. Over a three-week period in Japan and continuing for weeks after their return to the U.S., the team provided expertise in the areas of medical and radiation oncology, health physics, assessment of radiation dose and cancer risk, particularly to U.S. citizens living in Tokyo and the surrounding areas, food and water contamination and the acceptable limits, countermeasures to exposure such as potassium iodide (KI), the use of KI and an offered donation from the United States, evacuation and re-entry issues, and health/emergency-related communication strategies. This paper describes the various strategies used and observations made by the DHHS team during the first two months after the Fukushima crisis began.
    Full-text · Article · May 2012 · Health physics
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