The impact of radiation dread on mass casualty medical management during a radiological or nuclear event


  • Mary Sproull
  • Naoru Koizumi, PhD
  • Emanuel Petricoin, PhD
  • Gregory D. Koblentz, PhD
  • William G. Kennedy, PhD



radiation dread, nuclear, mass casualty management, first responder, emergency planning


Since the events of 9/11, a concerted interagency effort has been undertaken to create comprehensive emergency planning and preparedness strategies for management of a radiological or nuclear event in the US. These planning guides include protective action guidelines, medical countermeasure recommendations, and systems for diagnosing and triaging radiation injury. Yet, key areas such as perception of risk from radiation exposure by first responders have not been addressed. In this article, we identify the need to model and develop new strategies for the medical management of large-scale population exposures to radiation, examine the phenomena of radiation dread and its role in emergency response, and review recent findings on the willingness to work of first responders and other personnel involved in mass casualty medical management during a radiological or nuclear event.

Author Biographies

Mary Sproull

Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

Naoru Koizumi, PhD

Associate Professor and Director of Research, Data Lab, Center for Social Complexity, Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

Emanuel Petricoin, PhD

Professor, School of Systems Biology, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia; Co-Director, Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

Gregory D. Koblentz, PhD

Associate Professor and Director, Biodefense Graduate Program, Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

William G. Kennedy, PhD

Associate Professor, Center for Social Complexity, Department of Computational and Data Science, College of Science, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia


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How to Cite

Sproull, M., N. Koizumi, PhD, E. Petricoin, PhD, G. D. Koblentz, PhD, and W. G. Kennedy, PhD. “The Impact of Radiation Dread on Mass Casualty Medical Management During a Radiological or Nuclear Event”. American Journal of Disaster Medicine, vol. 16, no. 2, Aug. 2021, pp. 147-62, doi:10.5055/ajdm.2021.0396.




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