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March 12, 1955


Author Affiliations

Albany, N. Y.

Professor of Radiology, Albany Medical College and Radiologist-in-Chief, Albany Hospital (Dr. Roach); and Professor of Preventive Medicine, Albany Medical College, and Commissioner, New York State Department of Health (Dr. Hilleboe).

JAMA. 1955;157(11):899-901. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02950280023007

Some time ago, while attempting to make provisions for the medical aspects of civil defense for the state of New York, we were deeply concerned with the difficult problem of planning emergency radiological service. It is feasible to acquire and store x-ray equipment and electric generators designed along the lines of the military field type; these can be transported, assembled, and operated by relatively inexperienced persons. The inherent difficulties in the storage, transportation, and use of x-ray film for civil defense are apparent at once when one remembers that the radiant energy of an atomic explosion or its residual radioactivity is extremely destructive to the photosensitive emulsion of any type of film. One might consider the use of fluoroscopy alone and thus completely eliminate the x-ray film and darkroom problem. This, however, seems out of the question for several reasons, the most important of which is the fact that, even

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