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South Med J. 2013 Jan;106(1):55-62. doi: 10.1097/SMJ.0b013e31827cd12d.

Sarin exposure: a simulation case scenario.

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  • 1Quillen College of Medicine, Center for Experiential Learning, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN 37614, USA.


Given the current geopolitical tensions, the risk of a terrorist attack on the United States is constant and increasing. Chemical terrorism, specifically the use of nerve agents, has occurred in other nations. Because of the ease of manufacture, the ability to conceal them, and the lethality of these agents, they pose a potential threat as a weapon of terror. Nerve agent exposure requires prompt recognition, a series of actions to mitigate further exposure to others, and management of the physiological sequelae of exposure. Many civilian healthcare providers are unprepared to manage injuries from nerve exposure. Failure to recognize the signs of nerve agent exposure will increase mortality and morbidity in victims and place healthcare providers at risk. Simulation is an effective methodology to train healthcare personnel in disaster preparedness. This article presents a simulation scenario that reviews the presentation of nerve agent exposure, its management, and a recipe for performing this simulation in a training exercise.

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