The javascript used on this site for creative design effects is not supported by your browser. Please note that this will not affect access to the content on this web site.
Skip Navigation
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • YouTube
  • HRSA eNews
  • Print this
  • Email this

Radiation Injury Treatment Network

As part of the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program (CWBYCTP), contractors must have an emergency response process in place. Additionally, the CWBYCTP 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 dangerous injuries from harmful 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 damaged and cannot do this, a person may need a bone marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant. Many of the casualties with radiation injury from such an incident will be salvageable but will require outpatient and/or inpatient care.

Recognizing this, theNational Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP), US Navy, Office of Naval Research and American Society for Blood and Marrow TransplantationTM (ASBMT) collaboratively developed RITN, which is comprised of medical centers with expertise in the management of bone marrow failure, stem cell donor centers and umbilical cord blood banks across the US.

The RITN goals include:

  • Develop treatment guidelines for managing blood cell damage among victims of radiation exposure
  • Educate health care professionals about pertinent aspects of radiation exposure management
  • Provide capacity data for the coordination of the medical response to radiation events
  • Provide comprehensive evaluation and treatment for victims of radiation exposure or other marrow dangerous injuries at participating centers

After a marrow toxic incident resulting in mass casualties, RITN centers may be asked to:

  • Accept casualties from a distant incident
  • Provide supportive care for casualties with marrow toxic injuries
  • Provide treatment expertise to practitioners caring for casualties at other locations
  • Collect data on casualties treated at their treatment facility
  • Facilitate marrow transplantation for the small percentage  of casualties who require blood cell transplantation

RITN Training


The RITN has developed and offers to those who are interested web based training related to radiological disaster preparedness; all are accessible through Additionally, it coordinates training opportunities for its network of transplant centers, donor centers, and cord blood banks. All other CWBYCTP centers and cord blood 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 into their response plans, conducts annual radiological disaster training, communication drills and participates in an annual situational tabletop exercise (a scenario-based discussion of the response process) to assess and improve plans, procedures, and staff preparedness.


The RITN conducts a number of exercises each year to assess current planning and training efforts being made across the network. These exercises vary from discussion based tabletop exercises (TTX) to complex multi-day full-scale exercises (FSE) simulating casualties arriving at the hospital via the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS). Each year the RITN develops an annual TTX that all network hospitals must participate in. This exercise is conducted utilizing web-based tools that allow hospitals to share best practices and discuss issues as a group.

Through the RITN Exercise Grant Program network hospitals are able to receive grants to support the development and conduct of additional functional and full scale exercises. These grants allow hospitals to validate their current plans and procedures related to an RITN activation and bring in local, state and federal stakeholders to participate.

In addition to RITN sponsored exercises the RITN provides technical support to local and state jurisdictions developing radiological exercises.

Since 2006 RITN has supported hundreds of radiation scenario exercises conducted by hospitals across the nation.

RITN Center Locations

Centers are dispersed throughout the United States; some are pediatric treatment centers.

How RITN was Developed

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:

  • Department of Defense, Office of Naval Research
  • Health Resources and Services Administration
  • Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research® (CIBMTR)
  • Comprehensive Cancer Centers designated by the National Cancer Institute
  • National Library of Medicine-Radiation Emergency Medical Management
  • U.S. Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration,  Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site
  • Office of Preparedness and Emergency Operations, Office of Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • AABB (formerly the American Association of Blood Banks) Interorganizational Task Force on Domestic Disasters and Acts of Terrorism
  • Radiation Emergency Medical Management website organized by the National Library of Medicine
  • National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)
  • Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO)
  • National Alliance for Radiation Readiness (NARR) managed by ASTHO and funded by the CDC
  • World Health Organization/Radiation Emergency Medical Preparedness and Assistance Network (REMPAN)
  • The European Group for Blood & Marrow Transplantation Nuclear Accident Sub-Committee
  • Physicians at the forefront of bone marrow and cord blood transplantation