through the monitoring station to determine
whether or not they are contaminated with
radioactive material. No medical treatment should
be instituted in the monitoring station.
Generally speaking, only personnel who have
had training and experience as members of
Radiological Safety and Radiological Decontami-
nation teams or as members of Damage Control
parties should be assigned to the monitoring
station. However, those operating the monitoring
station should have a basic knowledge of and
experience with radiac instruments. In this way,
individuals can be used in either capacity should
the need arise.
After the patients are monitored, they are
directed or taken down one of four avenues,
depending upon their physical conditions. Those
requiring immediate lifesaving measures should
be assumed to be contaminated and routed
directly through the monitoring station to the con-
taminated emergency treatment station. Definitive
monitoring for these individuals may be per-
formed at the decontamination station. Both
treatment stations are set up much the same and
should have only those facilities necessary for im-
mediate lifesaving forms of treatment. Personnel
working in these stations should be better
versed in emergency first-aid care than those
used for monitoring and for rescue teams, and
they need not be trained in radiation monitoring.
After emergency lifesaving procedures have
been attended to, casualties from the clean
emergency treatment station should be taken
directly to the sorting station, and those from the
contaminated treatment station should be taken
to the decent amination station.
Casualties not requiring immediate emergency
treatment should be taken or sent from the
monitoring station directly to the sorting station
or to the decent amination station, whichever is
appropriate. The decontamination station should
be set up to take, hold, and dispose of all
contaminated clothing and to supply clean
replacement clothing after the casualty has been
decontaminated. It will also require monitoring
equipment, showering and washing facilities, and
some capability for surgical (e.g., wound) de-
contamination when necessary.
Of the personnel available to the treatment
facility, several of those most experienced and
knowledgeable in radiological safety and radiation
protection should be assigned supervisory jobs in
the decontamination station. Also, it is highly
desirable to have some personnel with operating
room experience to decontaminate patients with
traumatic injuries. It is not necessary for the other
personnel working in the decontamination station
to have any appreciable training or experience
other than that given when the medical facility
is put into operation.
Early removal of radioactive contamination
will reduce radiation burns, radiation dosage, and
the chances of inhaling or ingesting radioactive
material. There are two rules to be remembered
in the removal of radioactive contamination:
1. Removal of radioactive contamination is
best accomplished with soap and water.
2. Contamination is easily spread, so spot
cleaning must be attended to before general
decontamination procedures are started.
Cotton swabs or gauze maybe used to decon-
taminate moist areas, gummed tapes to de-
contaminate dry areas. If after the first cleansing
decontamination is inadequate, the process should
be repeated three to five times; then, if
contamination persists, the following preparation
may be tried:
. A mixture of 50 percent detergent and 50
percent cornmeal with enough water added to
make a paste. This should be used with additional
water as necessary and the contaminated area
scrubbed (preferably with a soft bristle surgical
brush) for 5 minutes, then rinsed.
After the hot spots have been removed, the
second step is to shower with soap and water.
Scrub the entire body, including the hair and nails.
After the shower, monitor again; if any con-
tamination remains, again spot clean and shower.
If the hair is contaminated, shampoo it several
If it becomes apparent that shampooing has
not removed the radioactive material, clip the hair
as close to the scalp as necessary to remove the
If areas become tender from excessive
washing, it may be necessary to restore some of
the skin oils by gently rubbing in a small amount
of lanolin or ordinary hand or face cream. This
will soothe the skin and prepare it for further
decontamination if additional steps are necessary.
Decontamination should be continued until the
radioactivity has been reduced to the safe
level set by the responsible Medical Department