Symptoms & Severity depend on:

o Amount of radiation
o Length of exposure
o Body part that was exposed
Symptoms may occur immediatly, after a few days, or even as long as months.

What part of the body is most sensitive during radiation sickness?
  • bone marrow
  • gastrointestinal tract

Did you know? Babies in the womb & children are the most severely injured during radiation sickness.

Signs of severity (especially from nuclear accidents):
o Length of time between exposure & symptoms
o Severity of symptoms
o Severity of changes in white blood cells

Not So Fun Fact! If you vomit less than an hour after being exposed à radiation exposure was high à death ! =[

Common symptoms:
o Bleeding from nose, mouth, gums, rectum
o Bloody stool
o Confusion
o Dehydration
o Hair loss
o Inflammation of exposed areas
o Ulcers
§ Mouth
§ Esophagus
§ Stomach
§ intestines
o vomit blood

(ulcers on people’s backs, chests, mouth, etc. are common when one is exposed to a vast amount of radiation)


(Stomach ulcers can be a symptom of over radiation.)

· Early symptoms of radiation sickness

Mild exposure (1-2 Gy)
Moderate exposure (2-6 Gy)
Severe exposure (6-8 Gy)
Very severe exposure (8-10 Gy or higher)
Nausea and vomiting
Within 6 hours
Within 2 hours
Within 1 hour
Within 10 minutes
Within 8 hours
Within 3 hours
Within 1 hour
Within 24 hours
Within 4 hours
Within 2 hours
Within 3 hours
Within 1 hour
Within 1 hour
Later symptoms of radiation sickness
Dizziness and disorientation
Within 1 week
Weakness, fatigue
Within 4 weeks
Within 1-4 weeks
Within 1 week
Hair loss, bloody vomit and stools, infections, poor wound healing, low blood pressure
Within 1-4 weeks
Within 1 week
Source: Adapted from "Bushberg JT. Radiation exposure and contamination. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals" and "Upton AC. Radiation injury. In: Goldman L, et al., eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2007."

(Gy = symbol that represents the amount of absorbed radiation during ionizing radiation)

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