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Nerve Agents Atropine Use 1963

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Published on Feb 21, 2010

Even in very small amounts, nerve agents are highly toxic if inhaled or swallowed or if they come in contact with skin or eyes. In general, the manifestation of toxic effects is faster if you inhale or swallow nerve agents than if they contact your skin. The initial effects also depend on the amount you are exposed to. Immediate treatment of person who has been exposed to a nerve agent exposure includes a complete washing of the eyes and skin with water. A diluted (0.5%) bleach solution should also be applied to the skin if possible. Two drugs, atropine and pralidoxime chloride, have been used as antidotes for nerve agent poisoning. Atropine works by blocking one type of acetylcholine receptor so that the acetylcholine that is already in the synapse cannot work. Pralidoxime works by blocking the binding of the nerve agent to "acetylcholinesterase" (AChE). Both of these drugs were issued to US troops during the Persian Gulf War in the form of an antidote kit called the Mark I. Diazepam (Valium) may be used to reduce convulsions and seizures brought on by exposure to nerve agents. For more information, go to the website of the US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) at http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/tfacts166.ht... . This is clipped from the 1963 film, Nerve Agents, available at the US National Archives. The film is from the U. S. Army Training Film series on the features and tactical use of GA (tabun), GB (sarin), and V-class nerve agents as munitions for chemical warfare. Explains how the nerve gas agents enter the human body and the symptoms of poisoning, and shows the protective and first-aid measures that may be taken against them.

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