Anaesthesia and critical care considerations in nerve agent warfare trauma casualties

Avi A. Weinbroum, Valery Rudick, Gideon Paret, Yoram Kluger, Ron Ben Abraham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Nerve agents (NA) (tabun, sarin, suman, VX) have been stocked around the world for some time and still present a major threat to civilian as well as to military populations. Since NA can be delivered through both an aerial spray system and a ballistic system, victims could suffer both NA intoxication and multiple trauma necessitating urgent surgical intervention followed by intensive care. These patients can be expected to be extremely precarious neurologically, respiratorily and haemodynamically. Moreover, their clinical signs can be misleading. Further exacerbating the problem is the fact that interactions of NA with the pharmacological agents used for resuscitation and/or during anaesthesia can aggravate organ instability even more and possibly cause systemic collapse. There are no protocols for perioperative critical care and early assessment or for the administration of anaesthesia for surgical interventions in such combined multiple trauma and intoxicated casualties. We propose a scheme for the administration of critical care and anaesthesia based on the scant anecdotal reports that have emerged after the occurrence of local accidents involving NA intoxication and on the neuropharmacological knowledge of the pesticide organophosphate poisoning database, these compounds being related chemical substances. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-123
Number of pages11
JournalResuscitation
Volume47
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2000
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Anesthesia
  • Critical care
  • Nerve agent
  • Pyridostigmine
  • Toxic-trauma casualties

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