Japanese girl presenting the effects of radiation sickness.
|Classification and external resources|
The onset and type of symptoms depends on the radiation exposure. Relatively smaller doses result in gastrointestinal effects, such as nausea and vomiting, and symptoms related to falling blood counts, and predisposition to infection and bleeding. Relatively larger doses can result in neurological effects and rapid death. Treatment of acute radiation syndrome is generally supportive with blood transfusions and antibiotics, with some more aggressive treatments, such as bone marrow transfusions, being required in extreme cases.
Similar symptoms may appear months to years after exposure as chronic radiation syndrome when the dose rate is too low to cause the acute form. Radiation exposure can also increase the probability of developing some other diseases, mainly different types of cancers. These diseases are sometimes referred to as radiation sickness, but they are never included in the term acute radiation syndrome.