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Chemical Weapons Poisoning, Emergency Medicine

Patrick M. Whiteley Reviewed 06/2017
 


Basics

Description

Chemical agents that affect CNS, pulmonary, cardiovascular, dermal, ocular, or GI systems when exposed to victims 

Etiology

  • Blood agents: Cyanide:

    • Inhibition of cellular respiration by ...

Diagnosis

Signs and Symptoms

History

Multiple victims, house fire, known exposure (agent determines history findings) 

Physical Exam

  • Blood agents (cyanide and cyanogens):

    • Vital signs:

      • Tachypnea and hyperpne...

Treatment

Pre-Hospital

  • Avoid contamination of environment and clinicians:

    • Use level A or level B personal protective equipment.

    • Decontamination:

      • Dermal wet decontamination primarily for nerve and blisteri...

Follow-Up

Disposition

Admission Criteria

  • ICU admission for symptomatic patients with significant exposure

  • Hospital admission to monitor for developing complications for blister, choking, lacrimating agen...

Pearls and Pitfalls

Must perform adequate decontamination 

Additional Reading

  • Davis  K, Aspera  G. Exposure to liquid sulfur mustard. Ann Emerg Med.  2001;37:653–656.

  • Keyes  DC. Chemical warfare agents. In: Dart  RC, Caravati  EM, McGuigan  MA, et al., ed...

Codes

ICD9

  • 987.5 Toxic effect of lacrimogenic gas

  • 987.7 Toxic effect of hydrocyanic acid gas

  • 987.9 Toxic effect of unspecified gas, fume, or vapor

  • 987.6 Toxic effect of chlorine gas

  • 987.8 Toxic effect of o...

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