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Emergency medicine

Chemical and radiological terrorism: a perspective for GPs

Gordian Fulde

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Abstract

The second of three articles focusing on the roles GPs could play in dealing with the aftermath of a CBR incident describes the clinical effects of chemical and radiological agents that could be used in acts of terrorism and the appropriate initial treatment of affected people.

Article Extract

The use of chemical and radiological agents in either a military or civilian scenario will, in the worst case scenario, quickly involve all the response services in the area and beyond. The media will give the incident massive coverage and, despite attempts to contain the incident and casualties within an area, hundreds of people will self-present to nearby hospitals while many others will flee and seek help elsewhere. As the attack is publicised further, many more ambulant patients will seek help, and even people not at risk will seek reassurance wherever they can.

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