Nerve Agents



General Principles of Triage for Chemical Exposures

  • Check triage tag/card for any previous treatment or triage.
  • Survey for evidence of associated traumatic/blast injuries.
  • Observe for sweating, labored breathing, coughing/vomiting, secretions.
  • Severe casualty triaged as immediate if assisted breathing is required.
  • Blast injuries or other trauma, where there is question whether there is chemical exposure, victims must be tagged as immediate in most cases. Blast victim's evidence delayed effects such as ARDS, etc.
  • Mild/moderate casualty: self/buddy aid, triaged as delayed or minimal and release is based on strict follow up and instructions.
  • If there are chemical exposure situations which may cause delayed but serious signs and symptoms, then over-triage is considered appropriate to the proper facilities that can observe and manage any delayed onset symptoms.
  • Expectant categories in multi-casualty events are those victims who have experienced a cardiac arrest, respiratory arrest, or continued seizures immediately. Resources should not be expended on these casualties if there are large numbers of casualties requiring care and transport with minimal or scant resources available.
  • In a given category prioritize a child, pregnant woman over a non-pregnant adult.
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