Long Term Follow Up

Long term follow up varies greatly depending on the nature of the accident and the amounts of exposure or contamination. Reconstruction of the accident with estimation of doses should be performed. Identification of the levels of exposure can prepare the physicians for what may occur over the next several weeks.

Areas of thermal or chemical burns that were also exposed to significant radiation need to be watched carefully for viability and healing. In the event of high levels of exposure, monitoring of blood values should be performed on a daily or every other day basis. Local areas of exposure should be closely watched for the appearance of erythema, swelling, tenderness, or other signs of radiation burn. These symptoms typically take days to weeks to develop.

Naturally, long term follow up also includes management of the initial trauma that brought the patient to the hospital. Consultation with a nuclear physician and/or a radiation oncologist should be sought.

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