war gas


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war gas

Any chemical substance, whether solid, liquid, or vapor, used to produce poisonous gas with irritant effects. The agents can be classified as lacrimators, sternutators (sneeze-causing), lung irritants, vesicants, and systemic poisons, such as nerve gas. Some gases have multiple effects.

War gases are known as nonpersistent (diffusing and dispersing fairly rapidly) or persistent (lingering and evaporating slowly).

First Aid

When giving first aid, the rescuer avoids becoming a casualty by taking appropriate precautions. All gas masks are checked to ensure that they are in working order. The rescuer first puts on his or her own mask, then fits masks to patients. The rescuer's skin is covered, and exposed skin of persons at risk is flooded with water to flush off suspected chemical contaminants.

Patient care

Decontamination centers are essential to the rescue effort. Thorough decontamination of patients, clothing, foot coverings, equipment, and even ambulances precedes admitting patients to emergency care areas to prevent unaffected people in the area from becoming casualties. Pulmonary and neurological functions are closely monitored, and specific or supportive therapies instituted as necessary.

See also: gas
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners
References in periodicals archive ?
Ivor's history of using homemade equipment includes the making of his own scuba gear with a war gas mask and a tyre-inflating foot pump.
Bobby Kennedy Snr, who would also later lose his life in a shocking assassination, is seen larking around wearing a Second World War gas mask in another of the images.
FIRST World War gas masks, movie props and a surfboard are among the 30,000 undeliverable parcels a week piling up at Royal Mail's national returns centre.
The Baker Street premises keeps some items on display, including six African masks, a variety of sex toys and two human skulls, as well as the Second World War gas masks.