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Asian J Transfus Sci. 2012 Jul-Dec; 6(2): 194.
PMCID: PMC3439769

Role of transfusion medicine in post-crisis nuclear leakage

Sir,

The present nuclear contamination problem that originated in Japan is still a hot issue in medicine. Radioactive nuclides exposure can lead to several complications. Transfusion medicine has role in management of the affected cases; however, information on this specific topic is scarce. In this specific, the author briefly reviews and discusses the role of transfusion medicine in nuclear leakage post-crisis. There is no doubt that blood transfusion becomes a necessary therapeutic tool for highly exposed subjects.[1] Gale noted that it is an important tool, accompanied with infection prophylaxis, for the immediate post-crisis situation.[1,2] The use of thrombomass transfusion successfully prevents development of the thrombocytopenic hemorrhagic syndrome which is an important hematopoietic aberration after crisis.[3,4]

There is serious concern regarding the long term complications of the hematopoietic system. In the post-crisis Chernobyl case, bone marrow transplantation with HLA match case was used with a moderately favorable outcome.[4] The irreversibly destroyed hematopoietic tissue (category V) becomes a problem that requires hematopoietic stem cell transplantation therapy.[5,6] However, this technique is new and was not available at the time of Chernobyl accident. Hence, a future follow-up on usage of this new transplantation practice in the emerging cases in the present Japanese crisis is recommended.

References

1. Gale RP. Immediate medical consequences of nuclear accidents. Lessons from Chernobyl. JAMA. 1987;258:625–8. [PubMed]
2. Nadezhina NM. Experience in organizing medical care for the victims of the accident at the Chernobyl Atomic Electric Power Station at a specialized hospital. Med Radiol (Mosk) 1990;35:40–1. [PubMed]
3. Gus’kova AK, Baranov AE, Barabanova AV, Moiseev AA, Piatkin EK. Diagnosis, clinical picture and therapy of acute radiation disease in victims of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power station. I. Conditions of irradiation, dose levels, bone marrow syndrome and its therapy. Ter Arkh. 1989;61:95–103. [PubMed]
4. Baranov AE, Gus’kova AK, Protasova TG. Experience in treating the victims of the accident at the Chernobyl Atomic Electric Power Station and the immediate disease outcomes. Med Radiol (Mosk) 1991;36:29–32. [PubMed]
5. Szepesi T, Fliedner TM. Reversible and irreversible damage to hematopoiesis following unexpected whole body irradiation: Markers in peripheral blood. Wien Klin Wochenschr. 1989;101:309–14. [PubMed]
6. Ende N, Lu S, Ende M, Giuliani D, Ricafort RJ, Alcid MG, et al. Potential effectiveness of stored cord blood (non-frozen) for emergency use. J Emerg Med. 1996;14:673–7. [PubMed]

Articles from Asian Journal of Transfusion Science are provided here courtesy of Medknow Publications