Bone marrow transplant (BMT) teams do not generally consider themselves to be emergency responders. But the bone marrow is the most radiosensitive organ in the body, and early changes in peripheral blood counts remain the best indicator of major total-body radiation exposures. Following a mass casualty incident, such as that occasioned by a nuclear detonation, BMT teams should expect that they will be called upon for their expertise in managing severe myelosuppression. Numerous resources, including the Radiation Injury Treatment Network, are available to assist BMT teams in planning for such a role.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The collaboration between NMDP and ASMBT is formalized through a memorandum of understanding. Additional, memorandum of understandings have been secured with the Department of Health and Human Services—Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (DHHS-ASPR), with the American Association of Blood Banks, and the New England Center for Emergency Preparedness. The RITN Executive and Steering Committees have received advice and support from numerous federal agencies including the Office of Naval Research, the Health Resources and Services Administration, DHHS-ASPR, the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Library of Medicine—Radiation Emergency Medical Management, and the White House National Security Staff.