Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Accident Effects - Information Resource & Registry of U.S. Immigrants from Contaminated Areas

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The recommendation for medical examination of persons exposed to irradiation from the Chernobyl accident includes:

A. Adult persons exposed to irradiation:

  1. Adult persons exposed to radiation are recommended to be under observation and subject to regular checkups according to the American Cancer Society recommendations in force for the adult persons screening.

  2. Adult persons should have regular medical checkups with special attention paid to the thyroid gland, including laboratory analysis of the thyroid gland function and ultrasound observations if necessary.

  3. Ordinary blood tests and biochemical blood tests, analysis of thyroid gland function, and urinalysis.
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B. Children exposed to irradiation:

  1. Ordinary pediatric checkups with measurement of height and weight, including longitudinal measurement of growth.

  2. Checkup of the thyroid gland, especially of persons exposed to irradiation when they were less than 3 years old at the time of the accident (April 1986).

  3. If thyroid sickness or hematologic malfunctions are suspected, then thyroid function tests and a complete blood test should be conducted.

  4. For children with variations in behavior or difficulties in school, a neuropsychiatric checkup is recommended.
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When a patient visits the physician he may be interested in asking the following questions:

  1. Are you sure that my health problems since 1986 (frequent headaches, blood pressure increase, abdomen pain, etc.) is a result from my stay in the contaminated areas after the accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant?

  2. My vision has become worse since the accident. Could this be a result of radiation in the place(s) of my previous residence?

  3. I feel weak and a sense of apathy, and my face and feet seem to swell. Could I have problems with my thyroid?

  4. Could you send me for analyses to determine early signs of cancer?

  5. I feel heartburn and severe pain in my abdomen. They appeared after the Chernobyl accident. What is the cause, in your opinion?

  6. I am haunted with fear about my health because I resided in the contaminated territory for a long time (more than 5 years). How can I cope with this fear?

  7. I would like to have a baby. Will our children be affected because my husband and I resided in the contaminated territory for a long time (more than 5 years)?

  8. What medical and prophylactic treatments can reduce the negative health impact caused by exposed dose of radiation?

  9. Is it advisable to determine the exposed dose of radiation?

  10. How often should I have checkups, taking into consideration my residence in the contaminated territory?
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