Chernobyl' doctor says TV show is 'dangerously' inaccurate

A doctor who treated Chernobyl victims has blasted the hit new TV show over 'dangerous' inaccuracies.
Leukemia expert Robert Gale, from Los Angeles, went to the former Soviet Union help after the 1986 disaster.
He said not only is the horrendous depiction of dying victims inaccurate, but events in the storyline could never have happened.

Gale shared his views in medical industry publication The Cancer Letter, reports
Firstly, he said the firefighters, seen in the show dying in hospital in a harrowing state would not have looked so horrific.
HBO Chernobyl disaster TV show triggers wave of visits to area
And nor would they have been 'contagious'.
'The effects are portrayed as something horrendous, unimaginable. This is inaccurate,' he said.

Mr Gale said another storyline of the show, which was made by American network HBO and Sky in the UK and based on book,
Voices from Chernobyl
by Svetlana Alexievich, is even 'dangerous'.
He said the unborn baby of Jessie Buckleys's character Lyudmilla Ignatenko, could not have absorbed radiation from its dying father as is claimed.

Scientist Ulana Khomyuk, played by Emily Watson, is wrong in the show, when she declares; 'The radiation would have killed the mother but the baby absorbed it instead'.
'There is the dangerous representation that, because one of the victims was radioactive, his pregnant wife endangered her unborn child by entering his hospital room,' he wrote.

'First, as discussed, none of the victims were radioactive, their exposures were almost exclusively external, not internal.
'More importantly, risk to a foetus from an exposure like this is infinitesimally small.
'I'm amazed the producers didn't get technical advice from a health physicist or radiobiologist rather than basing much of their screenplay on a novel.'

Gale, who was also called to help in Japan after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, says he also has concerns about the portrayal of Soviet authorities' reluctance to ask for outside help after the blast.
He said he was asked to travel right away with three colleagues, with an Israeli medic also allowed to go - despite the two countries having no diplomatic links.

He added it was impossible to cover up the accident, too.
And while he treated about 200 people exposed to radiation- with most surviving- and the long term effects of the accident are also far less than many believe.
'Although the 31 immediate Chernobyl-related deaths are sad, the number of fatalities is remarkably small compared with many energy-related accidents, such as the Benxihu coal mine disaster in China 1942, which killed about 1500 miners, and the 1975 Banqiao dam accident, also in China, which killed about 250,000 people,' he said.
In an earlier article for the same publication he claimed the number of cancer deaths in the area is only about one percent more than those expected to die from the disease had there been no accident.
Mr Gale, a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, a member of the Royal Society of Medicine and an honorary fellow of the Russian Academy of Medical Science, added the social impact from the relocation of more than 300,000 people, coupled with the deaths of animals and trees, were 'enormous' in comparison.
© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2019

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