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עמוד בית
Sat, 22.06.24

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November 2008
G. Markel, A. Krivoy, E. Rotman, O. Schein, S. Shrot, T. Brosh-Nissimov, T. Dushnitsky, A. Eisenkraft
The relative accessibility to various chemical agents, including chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial compounds, places a toxicological mass casualty event, including chemical terrorism, among the major threats to homeland security. TMCE[1] represents a medical and logistic challenge with potential hazardous exposure of first-response teams. In addition, TMCE poses substantial psychological and economical impact. We have created a simple response algorithm that provides practical guidelines for participating forces in TMCE. Emphasis is placed on the role of first responders, highlighting the importance of early recognition of the event as a TMCE, informing the command and control centers, and application of appropriate self-protection. The medical identification of the toxidrome is of utmost importance as it may dictate radically different approaches and life-saving modalities. Our proposed emergency management of TMCE values the “Scoop & Run” approach orchestrated by an organized evacuation plan rather than on-site decontamination. Finally, continuous preparedness of health systems – exemplified by periodic CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radio-Nuclear) medical training of both first responders and hospital staff, mandatory placement of antidotal auto-injectors in all ambulances and CBRN[2] emergency kits in the emergency departments – would considerably improve the emergency medical response to TMCE.

 


[1] TMCE = toxicological mass casualty event

[2] CBRN = chemical, biological, radio-nuclear 
T. Leibson and M. Lifshitz

Organophosphate and carbamate are mainly used to kill insects, thereby protecting livestock, crops, homes and communities. Yet, these compounds also convey great danger. OP[1] and CRB[2] poisoning is an important clinical problem, often life-threatening, especially in the pediatric population in rural areas where reaching a physician or hospital on time is difficult. We present a summary of accumulated toxicological knowledge as well as clinical and laboratory experience from a medical center serving a relatively vast rural area and pediatric population. We stress the importance of knowing how to recognize the classic signs of OP and CRB poisoning and when it is appropriate to investigate for such poisoning even in the absence of those signs. Like any medical emergency, OP and CRB poisoning requires prompt resuscitation and use of antidotes. Atropine, oxygen and fluids are the mainstay of therapy. Oximes, which were found useful in some cases of OP poisoning and useless in some cases of CRB poisoning, are absolutely safe as empiric treatment, which is often needed since the major differential diagnosis of OP poisoning is CRB poisoning that is clinically indistinguishable. We hope that continuing research will offer further insights into the management of such events, and we are confident that improved medical management of OP and CRB poisoning will result in a reduction of morbidity and other complications associated with intensive care procedures and hospitalization. 






[1] OP = organophosphonate

[2] CRB = carbamate


October 2003
T. Kadar, E. Fishbine, J. Meshulam, R. Sahar, A. Amir and I. Barness

Background: Sulfur mustard and VX are potent chemical warfare agents that penetrate rapidly through the skin, causing severe prolonged injuries and sometimes death.

Objectives: To develop a topically applied pretreatment that will act as a barrier and prevent the absorption of these agents through the skin, reducing morbidity and saving life.

Methods: Several formulations were developed and tested in preclinical animal studies in pigs. The protecting cream was applied as a single application (0.5–1 ml/100 cm2) prior to exposure (10 minutes to 12 hours) to sulfur mustard or VX. Assessment of sulfur mustard-induced skin damage was based on clinical and histologic evaluations. When tested against VX, clinical signs and blood cholinesterase activity were monitored. At the final stage of development, safety studies were conducted in animals and in human volunteers.

Results: The formulation that gave the best results, coded IB1 (under patent application), provided significant protection against a 1 hour exposure to sulfur mustard (droplets or vapor). All the pigs pretreated with IB1 cream survived a 1–4 hour challenge of 2xLD50 VX and did not exhibit any overt clinical signs. Protection was exhibited even when the cream was applied 12 hours (single application) prior to exposure. IB1 was found to be non-irritating in animals and humans. No adverse effects were found in a Phase I clinical study in young healthy volunteers when the cream was applied to around 20% of the skin surface (results presented elsewhere).

Conclusions: IB1 cream has been shown to be a safe and effective topical skin protectant against the chemical warfare agents sulfur mustard and VX.

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