Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.
War gases are known as nonpersistent (diffusing and dispersing fairly rapidly) or persistent (lingering and evaporating slowly).
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.
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.