An argument for equipping civilian hospitals with a multiple respirator system for a chemical warfare mass casualty situation

O. Heller, Y. Aldar, M. Vosk, J. Shemer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

During the Persian Gulf war, the entire Israeli population was under the threat of chemical missiles. One of the main effects of chemical agents (e.g., organophosphorus) is respiratory distress, which requires treatment with mechanical ventilation and oxygen enrichment. In the event of a chemical missile attack, the civilian hospitals may enter a state of insufficiency for treating such victims due to the limited amount of equipment, staff and oxygen/air sources. A possible technological solution is a multiple respirator system (MRS) with a multiple oxygen enrichment system designed for use in the battlefield. The advantages of these technologies in the civilian hospital setting during a chemical mass casualty situation are: (a) rapid deployment, (b) high transportability, (c) capability of operation in any location, (d) modularity, and (e) less medical staff for operation. Two types of MRS are described and issues concerning their selection are discussed. The authorities responsible for national health policy may wish to adopt and incorporate these technologies into their hospital and emergency services preparedness system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)652-655
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Journal of Medical Sciences
Volume27
Issue number11-12
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Artificial ventilation
  • Chemical mass casualty
  • Civilian hospitals
  • Multiple-respirator system
  • Persian Gulf war

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