Nerve agents: emergency preparedness.

Weir, Alan George Andrew, Makin, S and Breeze, John (2020) Nerve agents: emergency preparedness. BMJ military health, 166 (1). pp. 42-46. ISSN 2633-3775. This article is available to all UHB staff and students via ASK Discovery tool by using their UHB Athens login IDs

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Nerve agents (NAs) are a highly toxic group of chemical warfare agents. NAs are organophosphorus esters with varying physical and chemical properties depending on the individual agent. The most recently developed class of NA is , the existence of which was first revealed in the early 1990s, just before Russia signed the Chemical Weapons Convention. In 1984, Iraq became the first nation to deploy NA on the battlefield when they used tabun against Iranian military forces in Majnoon Island near Basra. The first terrorist use of an NA is believed to be the attack in Matsumoto, Japan, on 27 June 1994 by the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult. Symptoms and ultimate toxicity from NA poisoning are related to the agent involved, the form and degree of exposure, and rapidity of medical treatment. The classic toxidrome of significant exposure to NA comprises bronchorrhoea, bronchospasm, bradycardia and convulsions, with an onset period of as early as a few seconds depending on the mode and extent of exposure. If medical management is not instituted rapidly, death may occur in minutes by asphyxiation and cardiac arrest. In the UK, emergency preparedness for NA poisoning includes an initial operational response programme across all blue light emergency services and key first responders. This paper describes the development, pathophysiology, clinical effects and current guidance for management of suspected NA poisoning. It also summarises the known events in which NA poisoning has been confirmed.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is available to all UHB staff and students via ASK Discovery tool by using their UHB Athens login IDs
Subjects: WO Surgery
Divisions: Emergency Services > Emergency Department
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Depositing User: Jamie Edgar
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2021 14:59
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2021 14:59

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