As part of the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program (Program), contractors must have an emergency response process. Additionally, the Program has created a specialized group, the Radiation Injury Treatment Network® (RITN). The RITN was developed to respond to a potential disaster resulting in mass casualties with marrow toxic injuries from ionizing radiation exposure or other hazardous material (such as sulfur mustard). The marrow creates new blood-forming cells each and every day. If the marrow is injured and cannot do this, a person may need a bone marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant.
The Radiation Injury Treatment Network® (RITN) provides comprehensive evaluation and treatment for victims of radiation exposure or other marrow toxic injuries. Many of the severe casualties with radiation injury will survive with outpatient and/or inpatient care.
The RITN is comprised of transplant centers, donor centers, and cord blood banks spread throughout the United States. The RITN goals include:
After a marrow toxic incident resulting in mass casualties, RITN centers may be asked to:
The RITN has identified and provided training information to its network of transplant centers, donor centers, and cord blood banks. All other Program centers and banks are informed about the RITN and may be asked to help during an emergency that exceeds the response capabilities of the RITN.
Each facility incorporates the RITN Acute Radiation Syndrome treatment guidelines. Annually, each RITN center participates in a situational tabletop exercise (a scenario-based discussion of the response process) to assess and improve plans, procedures, and staff response.
Centers are dispersed throughout the United States; some are pediatric treatment centers.
The RITN was developed through the cooperative efforts of the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP) and the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT). The NMDP and ASBMT collaborated with: