HHS Launches Online Toolkit for Radiation Emergencies
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Mike Leavitt announced the development a new downloadable online diagnostic and treatment toolkit designed for health care providers, primarily physicians, who may have to provide medical care during a radiation incident.
The new information package includes easy-to-follow procedures for diagnosis and management of radiation contamination and exposure, guidance for the use of radiation medical countermeasures, and a variety of other features to facilitate medical responses. All of this is now available on the Radiation Event Medical Management (REMM) Web site.
“The REMM toolkit is part of our effort to improve public health emergency preparedness and response,” Secretary Leavitt said. “It reflects the department’s commitment to help instill a spirit of preparedness throughout our nation.”
Guidance on diagnosis and treatment will help health care providers by describing:
- types of radiation emergencies they may face
- initial medical actions at the incident site and or medical facility
- key steps in patient care
Critical information is presented in a format that will quickly and efficiently orient and guide health care providers during a mass casualty radiation event. In addition to online access, federal, state and local medical response teams will be able to download REMM information on laptop computers for quick access when they are deployed to a radiation incident or for training sessions. Users can also register for automatic e-mail updates whenever information is changed or added to the REMM Web site.
Future plans include formatting the REMM material for use on Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) devices, additional multimedia graphics, and more topic areas, such as follow-up patient care of radiation’s chronic effects.
A team of subject matter experts from the HHS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute and National Library of Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention collaborated on the development and design of the REMM tool.