Original Article

Opportunity for Collaboration Between Radiation Injury Treatment Network Centers and Medical Toxicology Specialists

Authors: Elizabeth Davlantes, MD, Samuel Shartar, MSN, RN, Jennifer Venero, MA, Alaina Steck, MD, Amelia Langston, MD, Ziad N. Kazzi, MD


Objectives: The Radiation Injury Treatment Network (RITN) comprises >50 centers across the United States that are poised to care for victims of a radiation emergency. The network is organized around bone marrow transplant centers because these facilities excel in both radiation medicine and the care of patients with severe bone marrow depression. A radiation emergency may cause not only irradiation from an external source but also internal contamination with radioactive material. Because medical toxicologists are trained in radiation injury management and have expertise in the management of internal contamination, RITN centers may benefit from partnerships with medical toxicology resources, which may be located at academic medical centers, hospital inpatient clinical services, outpatient clinics, or poison control centers.

Methods: We determined the locations of existing RITN centers and assessed their proximity to various medical toxicology resources, including medical toxicology fellowship programs, inpatient toxicology services, outpatient toxicology clinics, and poison control centers. Data were derived from publicly available Internet sources in March 2015.

Results: The majority of RITN centers do not have a medical toxicology fellowship, an inpatient toxicology service, or an outpatient toxicology clinic within the same institution. Fifty-seven percent of RITN centers have at least one of these resources located in the same city, however, and 73% of centers have at least one of these resources or a poison control center within the same city. Ninety-five percent of RITN centers have at least one medical toxicology resource within the state.

Conclusions: Most RITN centers are located in the same city as at least one medical toxicology resource. Establishing relationships between RITN centers and medical toxicologists needs to be explored further.

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