Title: A retrospective analysis of mass casualty presentation resulting from the release of toxic chemicals

Authors: Stephen C. Davis, Kathryn E. McHenry

Addresses: J3/Domestic Support, National Guard Bureau, 1411 Jefferson Davis Highway, Suite 5700, Arlington, VA 22202, USA. ' J3/Domestic Support, National Guard Bureau, 1411 Jefferson Davis Highway, Suite 5700, Arlington, VA 22202, USA

Abstract: As recent events have shown, terrorists with national, regional and limited socio-cultural interests are capable of waging global campaigns. The predominant weapons in the near future are likely to remain conventional, but with an increasing use of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons (CBRN). Additionally, a consequence of technology is the use, storage, and transport of toxic chemicals, biological pathogens and radiological materials, which directly increase the risk of unintentional release of CBRN materials. Recognising this, a variety of organisations at all levels of government and in the public and private sectors have either initiated or increased consideration of these potentially catastrophic events in their planning process. Given the potential for very large numbers of casualties and significant disruption to economies, it is prudent to consider what measures are available to mitigate morbidity, mortality and economic disruption. Analysis of victim presentation from previous releases of toxic chemicals reveals patterns that can guide response planning efforts.

Keywords: CBRN; chemical weapons; biological weapons; radiological weapons; nuclear weapons; mass casualties; consequence management; emergency response planning; emergency management; toxic chemicals; disaster management; morbidity reduction; mortality reduction; economic disruption reduction; hazardous substances.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEM.2005.007362

International Journal of Emergency Management, 2005 Vol.2 No.3, pp.231 - 238

Published online: 11 Jul 2005 *

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