External indicators

Radioactivity can easily be detected with:

  • Geiger counters (see image)
  • Area survey meters
  • Personal dose-rate meters

These are usually available in radiology and radiotherapy departments.

Blood tests

Full blood counts should be done at 12 hours and then every 4 hours. Lymphocyte counts decrease depending on the dose absorbed by the body and consequent severity of radiation sickness. Urea and electrolytes should be measured to assess the level of dehydration from vomiting and diarrhoea and to guide on-going fluid therapy.

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