Lessons learned in preparing to receive large numbers of contaminated individuals

Health Phys. 2005 Aug;89(2 Suppl):S42-7. doi: 10.1097/01.hp.0000165870.08277.b8.


Traditionally, medical radiation emergency plans have provided for the receipt and care of a limited number of individuals, usually no more than two or three at any given time. Large numbers of contaminated, uninjured individuals cannot be effectively handled in the emergency departments (EDs) of hospitals as they present a risk of forcing the ED to close because of contamination and they divert ED personnel away from patients needing medical attention. Alternative locations and plans for handling large numbers of contaminated but otherwise uninjured patients must be considered. Such plans developed at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center (HMC) during the 1979 accident at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant (TMI) were resurrected post 9/11 and used there in developing and upgrading plans and capabilities for handling large numbers of contaminated, uninjured individuals.

MeSH terms

  • Disaster Planning / organization & administration*
  • Emergency Medical Services / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Radioactive Hazard Release*
  • Radioactive Pollutants*
  • September 11 Terrorist Attacks


  • Radioactive Pollutants