Irradiation (radiation sickness)

Skin | Dermatology | Irradiation (radiation sickness) (Disease)


Acute radiation syndrome (ARS), also known as radiation poisoning, radiation sickness or radiation toxicity, is a constellation of health effects which occur within several months of exposure to high amounts of ionizing radiation. The term generally refers to acute medical problems rather than ones that develop after a prolonged period.

The onset and type of symptoms depends on the radiation exposure. Relatively smaller doses result in gastrointestinal effects such as nausea and vomiting and symptoms related to falling blood counts such as infection and bleeding. Relatively larger doses can result in neurological effects and rapid death.

Causes and Risk factors

Exposure to radiation can cause devastating damage to the immune system and to the tissues of the body. The effects are known as radiation sickness or syndrome. Radiation can also cause little understood changes to the bodys genes, which can be manifested through the development of diseases such as cancer later in life, and possibly as birth defects in future generations.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Radiation sickness treatment is aimed at preventing further radioactive contamination, managing organ damage, reducing symptoms and managing pain. Treatment of acute radiation syndrome is generally supportive with blood transfusions and antibiotics. ...