Thursday, March 24, 2011

What Are the Health Risks to the US from the Nuclear Crisis in Japan?

Make sure to read this HCPLive article, "What Are the Health Risks to the US from the Nuclear Crisis in Japan?"

What are you telling your patients about risks and dangers amid rising public concern over possible effects from radiation exposure from Japanese reactors?

As news reports of efforts to contain the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan depict a steadily worsening situation, patients in the US are expressing concern over possible health effects from exposure to radiation from the damaged plants.

Physicians and other health care providers, especially those on the West Coast, are reporting a sharp increase in questions from patients about the risks of radiation exposure or sickness, the availability of treatments, and potential long-term health effects. The news media are even reporting a wave of “panic buying” of potassium iodide pills.

This is despite repeated assurances from US nuclear and public health and safety officials that the risks of serious health effects in the US from radiation exposure so far appear to be minimal.

HCPLive wants to know:
  • Have your patients been asking you for information about the possible health risks from radiation exposure from the damaged Japanese reactors?
  • What precautions, if any, have you been advising your patients to take?
  • Have your patients asked you for potassium iodide pills?
  • What resources would you recommend to a patient or colleague who wants to know more about radiation sickness and the effects of exposure to radiation?
  • How would you rate the performance of the news media in reporting on this story and on the potential health risks to patients in the US?
Add your insights by placing your comments at the end of the article: "What Are the Health Risks to the US from the Nuclear Crisis in Japan?"

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