Chapter 1 – Combined Injuries

Nuclear explosions produce thermal, blast, and radiation injuries that will often occur in combination. Research has led to the finding that the prognosis of patients suffering from both radiation and traumatic injuries (including burns) will be worse than the prognosis of patients suffering the same magnitude of either trauma or radiation exposure alone. For example, the lethality of a radiation dose of ~400 rad (4 Gy) in an untreated populations with compounding injuries may be reduced to as low as 250 rad (2.5 Gy). Combined-injury patients who have received significant, but less than lethal, radiation doses (100 to 200 rads, or equivalently, 1 to 2 Gy) will also require more support than those who have traumatic injuries alone. See Chapter 4 for greater detail.

Blast, thermal, and radiation injuries in combination will result in worse prognoses for patients than only sustaining one independent injury.