| || Treatment for Sulphur Mustard Poisoning : A Review
Author : Vijayaraghavan, R. ;Kumar, Pravin;Sugendran, K.
Source : Defence Science Journal ; Vol:48(2) ; 1998 ; pp 155-162
Subject : 623.459 Chemical Weapons
Keywords : Antidotes ;Treatment regime;Systemic toxicity;Chemical weapons;Geneva protocol;Intensive medical care
Abstract : Sulphur mustard (SM) is a chemical warfare agent of historical and Current interest. It is a well known blistering agent or vesicant. SM was extensively used in world war I as a chemical weapon and has been stockpiled by several counties since that time. SM serves as an ideal war gas and is favoured militarily for its ability to incapacitate rather than to kill. Its use resulted in large numbers of casualties requiring prolonged and intensive medical care. Despite Geneva Protocol of 1925, which categorically banned the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons in wars, SM has been used in several wars, including the Iran-Iraq war during the 1980s, which renewed interest in it. Though, the chemical weapons convention was signed by more than 160 countries in 1993 and was subsequently ratified by several countries, the threat from this agent persists due to its clandestine usage during war and also by terrorist groups. There is no effective and specific antidote for local and systemic toxicity of SM despite scientific research for more than 75 years. Many compounds were tested as antidotes for SM, but very few of them have been shown to provide some protection. The present review is aimed at evaluating the treatment regime and other clinical measures used to treat SM victims and the various drugs and chemicals screened as antidotes for SM poisoning in experimental animals.