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

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.

References in periodicals archive ?
Police forces used excessive force in response to the incident, according to the report, including an excessive amount of tear gas bombs and pellets, which led to the increase in injuries.
The judge said the two men planted the gas bomb two months after nerve gas was released on the Tokyo subway system, killing 12 people and making some 6,000 sick.
Taking strict security measures at the Eczaneler Junction, police intervened in the group with pressurized water and gas bombs.
Several of his acquaintances reportedly said he had been brandishing the tear gas bomb earlier in the day and had been threatening to carry out the attack for days.
This is evident in the firing of tear gas bombs directly at the bodies of journalists and often on sensitive parts of their bodies, as happened with the freelance photographer, Almu tasim Bellah Riyad Abu Aser , who was injured on the 1 st of February by a gas bomb in his head while he was covering the events of the peaceful return march in Gaza, c ausing him bleeding and fracture, rupture of the brain membrane.
Hassan Nofal, 17 years old, was hit by a gas bomb in the head by the Israeli occupation forces Friday east of Al-Bureij in central Gaza Strip, The ministry spokesperson Ashraf Al-Qudra said in a press statement.
During the slogans, chanted on behalf of terrorist Abdullah Eucalan, the police intervened in the group with gas bomb.
Turkish police used gas bomb and pressurized water by water cannons to disperse the group which stirred tension in the city.
Ramallah, July 11(Petra)-- A Palestinian was injured by rubber-coated bullets and dozen others were suffocated by tear gas bombs of the Israeli occupation soldiers stormed the Beit-Ummar village in West Bank city of Hebron early Wednesday.
Palestinian Health Ministry said in a press statement, 134 people were injured this evening, the majority of them are women after the occupation forces fired live bullets and gas bombs towards the march in east of Gaza.
Almost instantly after the protesters reached an area close to the terminal, the soldiers started firing a barrage of gas bombs and sound grenades.
He said Israeli forces shot tear gas bombs randomly at citizens' homes, causing civilian casualties.