*EMERGENCY*


[ARROW] Medical Reponse
The medical attention at the time of the tragedy was very poor. Usually, a nurse was at the plant to make sure no workers were contaminated when they leave the premises. Workers passed through a dosimetric station that checked their levels of radiation before leaving. At the time of the accident, the nurse was not in sight and the dosimetric stations were closed and some even locked. [27]

Dr. Belokon' was working at the Pripyat medical service at the time of the accident. He was one of the first doctors on scene to help the injured workers. Upon arriving at the Chernobyl nuclear power station, Belokon' found injured people approaching al most immediately. Belokon' was the only doctor at the power plant for several hours. In one account, Belokon' describes a mans about 18 years old who needed medical attention:

"They brought a chap of about eighteen. He was complaining of nausea and severe headache and he had begun vomiting. [He] worked in the third reactor and, it seems, had gone to the fourth...I took his blood pressure. It was 140 or 150 over 90, a little high. Then it leapt up and the chap became peculiar, somehow not himself. I took him to the first-aid section. There was nothing in the vestibule, nowhere even to sit, only two automatic mineral water dispensers. The medical room was shut. I took him to the ambulance. He became delirious before my very eyes...he showed symptoms of CONFusion, couldn't speak and began to mumble as if he'd had a drink or two, although he didn't smell of alcohol. He was very pale. People who ran from the building kept exclaiming 'How awful!'...then the chaps said the dosimeters were hitting the tops of their scales. But that was already later." [28]

Later, Dr. Belokon' also began to suffer from the symptoms of radiation sickness. He was later released from the hospital in the autumn. He sustained lasting damage to his lungs resulting in permanent breathing problems. [29] It is not known who replaced Belokon' at the power plant.



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