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May 30, 1986 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-05-30

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

11

NEWS

NOW . . . at your service

"All that the name implies."

Doctor Reports On
Chernobyl Victims

Tel Aviv (JTA) — Dr. Yair
Reisner, the Weizmann In-
stitute biophysicist who flew to
the Soviet Union to help Rus-
sian doctors treat victims of the
Chernobyl neclear accident,
returned from Moscow last Sun-
day with a grim prognosis for
those who suffered radiation
poisoning and a sober warning
that the western countries are
no better equipped than the
Soviet Union to cope with the
medical casualties of nuclear
ccidents.
Reisner, who volunteered his
• expertise in bone marrow and
cell sorting techniques after the
=Soviets finally made known the
full extent of the Chernobyl
disaster, also reported that he
entered the USSR with his
Israeli passport without a Rus-
sian visa. He said he was met at
Moscow airport by Ministry of
Health officials who issued him
a visa on the spot, well aware
that he is an Israeli.
Reisner said that of the 299
persons directly affected by the
accident at the Chernobyl
nuclear power station — techn-
icians, firefighters and guards
who were inside the building —
35 were severely ill with radia-
tion poisoning.
But bone marrow transplants
could be performed on only 19
0 , and another six victims were
beyond treatment, he said.
Others were not believed to be
in urgent need of transplants.
For those who received them, it
will not be known for another
three weeks whether the pro-
cedure was successful, he said.
The 38-year old Israel-born
scientist said at a press con-
ference here that the Israeli
authorities knew of his trip to
Moscow to take part in health
rescue work together with a
small team of American doctors.
He had been invited by Dr.
Robert Gale, an American bone
marrow surgeon who plans to
return to Moscow to check on
the results. Reisner said he had
no plans to return.
He said he and the Americans
worked with a Soviet woman
doctor who was well acquainted
with his marrow separation and
tissue transplant techniques
from reading about them in in-
ternational medical and scien-
tific publications. He said the
team brought 16 crates of equip-
ment to Moscow and he was
able to set up his laboratory
with 24 hours of his arrival:
Reisner and his American col-
leagues had warm praise for the
Soviet medical team with whom
they worked at Moscow Hospi-
,, tal No. 6.
But according to Reisner,
modern medical facilities have a
long way to go to fully meet the
demands of potential nuclear ac-
ci dents in the future. No coun-
',,ries in the West are really
prepared for such accidents. "It
is not only a Russian problem
but one which must be con-
sidered everywhere," Reisner
said.

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