Chlorine

CAS RN: 7782-50-5

Agent Specific

Triage

Chlorine Specific Triage

  • In a mass casualty situation, asymptomatic patients who are reliable historians and those who experienced only minor sensations of burning of the nose, throat, eyes, and respiratory tract (with perhaps a slight cough) may be released. In most instances, these patients will be free of symptoms in an hour or less. They should be advised to seek medical care promptly if symptoms develop or recur. If the incident involved a small number of patients, or the victims included young children (especially infants or patients with special needs), they should be monitored in an ED "extended care" area for 6-12 hrs.
  • Victims exposed only to chlorine gas who have no skin or eye irritation do not need decontamination. They may be transferred immediately to the Support Zone. All others require decontamination.
  • Symptomatic patients complaining of persistent shortness of breath, severe cough, or chest tightness should be admitted to the hospital and observed until symptom-free (pulmonary injury may progress for several hours).
  • If the treater feels that the patient has been exposed to a significant amount of chlorine, despite a relatively a benign clinical appearance he/she should be admitted for observation.
  • Clinical signs of pulmonary edema will typically present 2-4 hours following a moderate exposure and 30 - 60 minutes following a severe exposure.
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