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Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2005 Mar 17;125(6):731-5.

[Nerve gas--guidelines for care of victims of terrorism].

[Article in Norwegian]

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Forsvarets forskningsinstitutt, 2027 Kjeller.


The threat from chemical warfare agents such as nerve agents against civilians has traditionally been considered irrelevant. Following the recent terrorist attacks in the US on 11 September 2001 and in Madrid, Spain on 11 March 2004, the threat from such weapons is taken seriously. Hospitals must therefore be prepared to take care of civilian victims. Emergency preparedness implies education and training of healthcare professionals, stocking of antidotes, and training of personnel. This involves decontamination of patients, establishment of routines to avoid contamination of hospitals, and the ability to determine if patients and first responders are contaminated with chemicals and to avoid such contamination. Treatment against nerve agents includes atropine, acetylcholinesterase reactivators (obidoxime or pralidoxime) and benzodiazepines (diazepam). Because these drugs are not sufficiently effective in protecting the brain, new and more effective countermeasures must be developed.

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