Summary of Acute radiation syndrome
Acute radiation syndrome, also known as radiation poisoning, radiation sickness or radiation toxicity, is a collection of health effects which present within 24 hours of exposure to high amounts of ionizing radiation. The radiation causes cellular degradation due to damage to DNA and other key molecular structures within the cells in various tissues. This destruction, particularly as it affects the ability of cells to divide normally, in turn, causes the symptoms. The symptoms can begin within one or two hours and may last for several months. The terms refer to acute medical problems rather than ones that develop after a prolonged period.