• Nerve agents: A guide for emergency nurses. Part 1

      McGhee, Stephen; Finnegan, Alan P.; Clochesy, John; University of Miami; University of Chester
      Recent incidents in the UK and the alleged chemical attacks in Syria by the Bashar al-Assad regime have brought the subject of chemical weapons back into the public domain. To date these types of event have been relatively rare because terrorist plans to harm large numbers of people have mostly been thwarted. This is the first part of a two-part article on nerve agents. Part one gives an overview of these agents, their historical background and manufacture, and how the agents affect physiology. Part two, which will appear in the next issue, considers the pre-hospital response to the use of nerve agents, including effective triage and decontamination, and in-hospital treatment.
    • Responding to nerve agent poisoning: A guide for emergency nurses. Part 2

      Mcgee, Stephen; Clochesy, John; Finnegan, Alan P.; McGhee, Stephen; University of Miami
      The release of chemical agents can cause loss of life and result in major incidents. Chemical agent-related major incidents require a modified response by emergency services due to the chemicals’ transmissibility, lethality, latency and persistence. In general, modifications to casualty flow, triage and treatment are made to reduce transmissibility, and lethality of chemical hazards. This article, the second of a two-part series on nerve agents, describes the adapted response and explains how emergency nurses must be familiar with principles of care including incident and casualty management.