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Preparedness Is More Than a Plan: Medical Considerations for Radiation Response

Koerner, John, F.*

doi: 10.1097/HP.0000000000000755

The goals herein are to describe and discuss existing plans for the medical preparedness and response to a radiological incident/nuclear detonation, present the systems approach to nuclear response, introduce methods to assess operational capabilities, and posit suggestions for the way forward to implementation. This discussion seeks to review where these U.S. government efforts began 10 y ago, then moves through the collective National progress in preparedness planning for an improvised nuclear device detonation and differentiates between important preparedness planning efforts and the challenges of understanding national implementation. Finally, a way forward for the immediate future is suggested.

*Senior Special Adviser; Chemical, Biological, Nuclear, Radiological, and Explosives Science and Operations; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Immediate Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, 200 C Street, SW, Washington, DC 20024.

The author declares no conflicts of interest.

For correspondence contact the author at the above address, or email at

(Manuscript accepted 21 August 2017)

© 2018 by the Health Physics Society