A Plutonium-Contaminated Wound, 1985, USA

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A hand injury occurred at a U.S. facility in 1985 involving a pointed shaft (similar to a meat thermometer) that a worker was using to remove scrap solid plutonium from a plastic bottle. The worker punctured his right index finger on the palm side at the metacarpal-phalangeal joint. The wound was not through-and- through, although it was deep. The puncture wound resulted in deposition of ~48 kBq of alpha activity from the weapons-grade plutonium mixture with a nominal 12 to 1 Pu-alpha to {sup 241}Am-alpha ratio. This case clearly showed that DTPA was very effective for decorporation of plutonium and ... continued below

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26-27

Creation Information

Doran M. Christensen, DO, REAC /TS Associate Director and Staff Physician Eugene H. Carbaugh, CHP, Staff Scientist, Internal Dosimetry Manager, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington February 2, 2012.

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Description

A hand injury occurred at a U.S. facility in 1985 involving a pointed shaft (similar to a meat thermometer) that a worker was using to remove scrap solid plutonium from a plastic bottle. The worker punctured his right index finger on the palm side at the metacarpal-phalangeal joint. The wound was not through-and- through, although it was deep. The puncture wound resulted in deposition of ~48 kBq of alpha activity from the weapons-grade plutonium mixture with a nominal 12 to 1 Pu-alpha to {sup 241}Am-alpha ratio. This case clearly showed that DTPA was very effective for decorporation of plutonium and americium. The case is a model for management of wounds contaminated with transuranics: (1) a team approach for dealing with all of the issues surrounding the incident, including the psychological, (2) early surgical intervention for foreign-body removal, (3) wound irrigation with DTPA solution, and (4) early and prolonged DTPA administration based upon bioassay and in vivo dosimetry.

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26-27

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  • Journal Name: Health Physics News

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  • Report No.: 13-NSEM-0079
  • Grant Number: DE-AC05-06OR23100
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1060543
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc844541

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • February 2, 2012

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

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  • June 8, 2016, 1:19 p.m.

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Doran M. Christensen, DO, REAC /TS Associate Director and Staff Physician Eugene H. Carbaugh, CHP, Staff Scientist, Internal Dosimetry Manager, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington. A Plutonium-Contaminated Wound, 1985, USA, article, February 2, 2012; Oak Ridge, Tennessee. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc844541/: accessed April 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.