DCs Step Up as Radiation Emergency Screeners
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, January 15, 2019 06:20 PM

It is only a matter of time before a device with real or suspected radioactivity could be employed.  in addition, radiological material is often transported via train or highway, with the potential of an accidental spillage.

Despite the fact that such an occurrence would truly impact a limited number of people, there will be a large segment of the population that will need or wish to be screened for exposure. 

In an ideal response after a radiological “event” of some kind, there should be a designated location for the obviously exposed individuals to gather for evaluation, decontamination and treatment.  There should also be separate locations where those who are concerned, but were not in the immediate vicinity of the incident, can go for screening and education.   DCs in Arkansas have stepped up to help fill this niche.

In its emergency response planning, the need for the state of Arkansas to have a team of trained individuals, knowledgable about radiation and equipment to serve at those screening locations was determined; and a unique opportunity recently presented itself for Arkansas chiropractic physicians to do so with the Arkansas Department of Health and the Department of Emergency Management.  It was decided DCs were uniquely qualified to be the first health profession in the state to be so designated and to receive this education.

Chiropractic physicians already have background in radiation physics and have a respect for, but not a fear of, radiation.  They are located in all areas of the state.  They have a sensitivity to the public’s concerns and can interpret test results in layman’s terms.  Furthermore, during an incident, DCs would not be committed to serving in hospital emergency departments or as first responders in the field.  They are ideally suited to screen low-risk individuals and provide reassurance and education, or in the case of a rare positive reading, arrange for decontamination.

The Arkansas Chiropractic Physicians Association offered to host the information exchange and educational session for interested doctors.  Participating doctors were rant in the use of a simple device, similar to a Geiger counter, as well as a pass-through portal, reminiscent of a TSA gateway, that can detect traces of radioactivity.  During an event participating doctors will receive notice regarding the type of event and the screening location and will have the ability to respond.  Equipment will be provided by the state and assembled at the assigned site.  

That doctors of chiropractic were selected to form this initial team for a necessary public service is a testament to the positive outcomes possible from dialogue and cooperation.

Source:  https://www.dynamicchiropractic.com/digital/index.php?i=1248&a_id=58338&pn=46&r=t&Page=51