Agent Identification - Chemical

Nerve Agents

The initial chemical nerve agent, soman, was developed prior to World War II in Germany followed by Sarin, Tabun and VX. They include Sarin, Tabun and VX. These agents may be volatile and evaporate with exposure in both the liquid and vapor forms. Their onset of action is generally rapid and profound and involves the inhibition of acetylcholinesterase.

They are known as “human pesticides” and mimic organophosphate poisoning in symptomatology. The acronym SLUDGEM Is commonly used to describe the symptoms of salivation, lacrimation, urination, and defecation, gastric hypermotility including nausea and vomiting and miosis. Apnea, loss of consciousness and seizure activity can also be seen. Treatment includes atropine for the muscarinic side effects and benzodiazepines for neurological (seizures). The military uses Mark 1 kits including 2 PAM (pralidoxime chloride 600 mg IM and atropine 2 mg (adult doses) as separate auto injectors.

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