Treating Casualties of a Nerve Agent

Discussion in 'World Armed Forces' started by SampanViking, Apr 7, 2018.

  1. SampanViking
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    SampanViking The Capitalist
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    Was not quite sure where to put this topic, so choosing this section as it is not a specific question relating to the PLA.

    There is of course a lot of interest in the events surrounding the Poisoning of the Skripals in Salisbury, England a month ago. Both victims appear now well on the way to recovery and I heard an interesting discussion about this on BBC R4 this morning in an interview with a former Commanding Officer of the UK's NBC Regiment.

    During the interview, the interviewing (John Humphries) asked if the recovery of the two victims indicated that the identified nerve agent Novichok, was not as potent and effective as generally put about.

    The officer disagreed and said, that recovery was down to medical team skill and care and the ability to dedicate considerable resources to the treatment, which could not be scaled up, if such a weapon was ever used in a mass attack. So that under full military strike conditions, the death rates would be very significant.

    This was very interesting, but raised a question that I would like to put to the forum, int he hope that some members may have sufficient knowledge of these kinds of weapon, to be able to help answer.

    The question is this:
    Are nerve agents sufficiently generic as to enable an exposed patient to be stabilised for a period, while the precise strain is identified and a more specific treatment applied, or are they like other poisons, where the antidote is quite different for each poison and can only work/be applied once the poison is correctly identified?

    Supplementary question:
    Is the Physiology of cats sufficiently different from humans to ensure that a human lethal nerve agent may not affect them, or they just as vulnerable as us and (being very much smaller) likely to be affected by much smaller doses?

    I will be very grateful for answers to both.
     
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  2. Jura
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    Jura Lieutenant General

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    LOL noticed SampanViking online hey how have been? thought you're dead
     
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  3. SampanViking
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    SampanViking The Capitalist
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    Sorry to disappoint - real life commitments do rather take over at times.
     
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  4. Jura
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    Jura Lieutenant General

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    LOL
    good to see your status is 'alive'
     
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  5. TerraN_EmpirE
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    TerraN_EmpirE Tyrant King

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    I think it falls into the former. depending on exposure and treatment time some agents can be survived. Standard issue of the military in the event of a Nerve gas attack is a anticholinergic injection.
    Of course that is dangerous in it's own right, In the first Gulf war when Sadam launched Scuds at Isreal some people became convinced that they were loaded with poison gas, Many put on there gas masks and some injected themselves with Atropine which is used to counter Nerve agents and needed to be treated for the effects.
    Obidoxime is also used. They are not cures per say but it can counter the effects.
    https://chemm.nlm.nih.gov/antidote_nerveagents.htm
     
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  6. Jura
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    Jura Lieutenant General

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    (12) United States Patent (10) Patent No.: US 9,132,135 B2

    probably doesn't answer your questions, is interesting though
     
  7. nicky
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    nicky Junior Member

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    The BBC interviewed recently a chemical weapon expert who stated among other things that specific nerve agent indetification requires many hours and there is no antidote to the particular agent.

    He pointed out that there has never been any known case of recovery from that agent and flatly denied a possibility of a full recovery.

    Yet the daughter in her brief telephone conversation with her cousin in Russia sounded like somebody who had probably light flue last year (if at all).

    She carefully avoided to use words like "poison" or "malady", referring only to "temporary disorientation".

    She also warned in advance that her cousin would not be issued visa to visit her in England ("they will not give it to you, you know").
    That's exactly happened two days later.
     
  8. TerraN_EmpirE
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    TerraN_EmpirE Tyrant King

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  9. nicky
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    nicky Junior Member

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    atropine injection is the first standard and immediate procedure.
    then come specialists who have some time to identify the agent and choose specific treatment.
     
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  10. TerraN_EmpirE
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    Atropine is just one of a number of drugs intended to counter the effects of the agent. Because Nerve agent targets the central nervous system causing seizures and inhibiting respiratory shut down.
    Diazepam or midazolam are also used for countering the seizures effects.
     
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