The main objective of the TMT Handbook project is to make a practicable handbook for the effective and timely triage, monitoring and treatment of people exposed to radiation following a malevolent act.
European national emergency response plans have long been focused on accidents at nuclear power plants. Recently, the possible threats by disaffected groups have shifted the focus to being prepared also for malevolent use of radiation that are aimed at creating disruption and panic in the society. The casualties will most likely be members of the public.
According to scenario, the number of affected people can vary from a few to mass casualties. The radiation exposure can range from very low to substantial, possibly combined with conventional injuries. There is a need to develop practicable tools for the adequate response to such acts and more specifically to address European guidelines for triage, monitoring and treatment of exposed people. The main objective is to make a practicable handbook for the effective and timely triage, monitoring and treatment of people exposed to radiation following a malevolent act.
To achieve this, these tasks will be undertaken:
- Evaluation of different scenarios to set the project’s terms of reference
- Guidelines will be drafted for:
-monitoring and triage of exposed populations;
-treatment, management and long term follow up of affected persons;
-public information and risk communication.
- These guidelines will be collated in a draft modularized handbook that will be distributed to a wide range of end users. They will be asked to comment on the content and encouraged to test it in national emergency response exercises.
- A workshop will be arranged 6 months later, to enable the end users to provide feedback on the handbook and how it works in exercises.
- A refined handbook will be produced on the basis of feedback. A wide distribution of the handbook to national emergency response institutions is envisaged as well as incorporation into training programmes.
From these tasks the European aptness to respond to emergencies concerning malevolent use of radiation or radioactive material will be greatly enhanced.
The specific project objectives are as follows:
- To define the terms of reference for the handbook by considering all major scenarios involving the malevolent use of radiation or radioactive material
- Collect and collate information on the current strategic response and strategies to monitor, treat and manage members of the public exposed to the malevolent use of ionizing radiation.
- To identify best practice for triage, monitoring, treatment and management of victims of radiological terrorism.
- To draft guidelines for best practice of triage, monitoring and treatment published in the form of a modularised Handbook for various responder categories and provide a platform for discussion on the different approaches currently adopted by EU Member States.
- To distribute the draft to national emergency authorities for comments and invite them to test it in national emergency response exercises.
- To refine the Handbook based on feedback from end users in a devoted workshop and deliver a final version of the Handbook, after a peer-review process.
- To harmonise the Handbook modules with existing IAEA public documents in this field and WHO response guidelines and training materials.