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Acute Chemical Emergencies

Topics: Chemicals, Healthcare and Public Health, Terrorism,

This article, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, describes the common health effects of an acute chemical emergency. Chemicals addressed are divided into categories based on the four main clinical syndromes they cause: asphyxiants, cholinesterase inhibitors, respiratory tract irritants, and vesicants. Additionally, it identifies signs which distinguish an accidental industrial release from a terrorist attack and a chemical emergency from a biologic one, including potential challenges presented by each situation.

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