According to a research solicitation released this week by the Department of Health and Human Services, the department is preparing to spend up to $8 million beginning in 2014 to research ways to treat severe thrombocytopenia — or the loss of cell platelets — caused by excessive radiation poisoning of vital blood-producing organs and tissues like bone marrow and the spleen. Once your organs get blasted with radiation from a catastrophic nuclear detonation, you will likely begin to suffer from internal bleeding and get really sick. Then you’ll die.
There’s little anyone can do about it in a timely way. “Currently, there is no approved therapeutic drug in the Strategic National Stockpile for this radiation-induced complication,” the solicitation notes. The only therapies available are injections of more platelets; or a blood transfusion.