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Rehabilitation After a Chem/Bio Incident

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After a chemicalbiological incident, triage and initial treatment will need to be followed by extensive periods of rehabilitation, in respiratory, cardiac, wound care, pain and psychiatry orthopedic, stroke, spinal cord, and head injury. The areas of most concern will be dependent on the agent used. If mustard is used, rehabilitation will be similar to burn patients with the emphasis on care of the skin, respiratory function and eye care. The effects on heart muscle and therefore cardiac function will also be a priority, but this care will be similar to those with cardiac problems without a chemicalbiological event. As the skin is the first barrier to infection, care of wounds will be ongoing until healed. Skin heals in a progressive, structured way, and again this will be the same without a chemicalbiological event. If phosgene or choking agents were used, respiratory care will be a priority, and an ongoing rehab concern. Respiratory care will be a continuation of initial treatments, with the addition of breathing exercises to enhance the ability of remaining lung tissue to be productive. Cardiac rehab will be essential to enhance the viable heart muscle with the goal of improving cardiac output. If nerve agents are used the effects on behavior including paranoia, as well as catastrophic victim behaviors of shock, depression, helplessness, and loss of life as it was prior to the incident.

Subject Categories:

  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare

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