chemical warfare

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The use of chemicals as a weapon of mass destruction, deployed as gases; the tremendous morbidity caused by such weapons in World War I—killing or injuring roughly 1.3 million soldiers—led to their ban under the ‘Geneva Protocol’ of 1925
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.

chemical warfare

Waging war with toxic chemical agents. Agents include nerve gases; agents that cause temporary blindness, paralysis, hallucinations, or deafness; irritants to the eyes and lungs; blistering agents, e.g., mustard gas; defoliants; and herbicides.

Patient care

Victims of a chemical exposure or attack require decontamination, ideally on site as rapidly as possible by specially equipped and trained Emergency Medical Services (EMS)/fire personnel or hospital-based health care professionals. Decontamination includes isolation of the victim, preferably outdoors or in a sealed, specially ventilated room; removal of all of the victim's clothing and jewelry; protection of any part of the victim's body that has not been exposed to toxins; repeated irrigation and flushing of exposed skin with water (a dilute wound-cleansing solution, such as Dakin’s solution, may be used on skin but not on the eyes or within penetrating wounds); additional irrigation of wounded skin with sterile solution (typically for about 10 min longer than the irrigation of intact skin); irrigation of the eyes with saline solution (about 15 min); cleansing beneath the surface of exposed fingernails or toenails; and collection and disposal of effluent and contaminated clothing. To avoid secondary injuries and exposures, trained personnel who carry out decontamination must wear chemical masks with a filtered respirator, self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA), and splash-resistant protective clothing that covers all skin and body surfaces and is impervious to all chemicals. Following decontamination, victims require triage and treatment.

Treatments for chemical exposures include both supportive care (such as the administration of oxygen, intravenous fluids, analgesics, topical remedies, and psychosocial support) and the administration of antidotes or chemical antagonists such as physostigmine. Details of the treatment for most specific exposures may be found in references such as the National Library of Medicine’s website: www.sis.nlm.nih.gov/Tox/ChemWar.html. See: biological warfare.

Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners
References in periodicals archive ?
Like all chemical warfare agents, you cannot use sarin, you cannot store it; it's prohibited.
The equipment would require a secure satellite link to a database containing every chemical warfare agent threat precursor in global circulation--complete with its impurity profile and stable isotopic signature, which would need to be entered into the database at the time of its manufacture by the chemical production company.
OPH-based biosensors are effective for directly monitoring and measuring various OPs ranging from OP-based pesticides and insecticides to chemical warfare agents like sarin.
Riegle's report also confirms that the alarms used in the war to warn troops of the presence of chemical warfare agents sounded thousands of times.
While the degraded chemical warfare agents that are stored in the bunkers may no longer be suitable for conventional military use, the remnants could represent a valid hybrid risk.
"There are suggestions that gulf war illness; in which symptoms are long-lasting, may be related to exposure to low-dose chemical warfare agents," said Morris.
It was regarded as the most effective chemical warfare agent during the four-year conflict because of its ability to incapacitate soldiers.
Today, lewisite continues to be an environmental problem in many places (especially in the former Soviet Union) and remains a viable chemical warfare agent. During World War II, lewisite as a weapon proved to be unsatisfactory.
Whether the application is battlefield chemical warfare agent analysis, civilian hazardous event response, or industrial stack and/or fenceline monitoring and analysis, the system provides unattended detection at ppb to % levels for hundreds of chemicals.
Dr Mitchell said DSTL was currently working in partnership with industry to develop a version of the coating that would absorb the vast majority of a liquid chemical warfare agent. (ANI)
UN deputy spokeswoman Marie Okabe said one of the substances identified was phosgene, which can be used as a chemical warfare agent.

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