- Acute Radiation sickness is caused by damage to human tissues due to sudden single exposure to very large amount of ionizing radiations.
- Ionizing radiations comprise of X rays, gamma rays, or those given off by bombardment of electrons, neutrons and protons.
- Use of ionizing radiations is found in medical testing and treatment, in industries for manufacturing processes and also in making weapons.
- Acute radiation sickness is also called as radiation poisoning or radiation toxicity.
- Acute radiation sickness is caused when the radiation dose is large (more than 70 rads or 0.7 Gy), the source of radiation is external i.e. outside the body of the patient, the radiations penetrate to reach the internal organs, the entire body or a significant part of it receives the radiation dose and the exposure occurs in a short period of time.
- Exposure to highly penetrating radiations may cause cell death. Damage to the bone marrow which causes loss of blood forming cells and damage to the cells in the digestive system may prove fatal.