Accidental human injury due to ionizing radiation is rare. Industrial accidents are comparatively the most common. Life saving procedures should always have priority to any concern about radiation injury or contamination. The personal risks for emergency medical personnel is negligible when simple measures are taken. Repeated clinical examinations and blood lymphocyte counts should be performed on all patients with suspected radiation injury to allow a diagnosis. The radiation syndrome develops within days or weeks depending on total radiation dose, dose rate and dose distribution. Damage to the bone marrow and gut are the most important. Local radiation injuries to the hands are common in industrial accidents. The Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority should always be called when a potential ionizing radiation accident takes place within Norway.