CASUALTY CW AGENTS
Casualty CW agents can cause death or severely
incapacitate personnel for long periods of time.
Casualty agents can be either persistent or
nonpersistent. They are classed as blood, choking,
nerve, and blister agents, all of which can inflict serious
injury or death.
Some casualty agents have a cumulative effect,
which means that successive doses add to the effect of
each preceding dose. You might receive a nonlethal
dose of a nerve agent, for example, followed within a
few hours by another nonlethal dose. However, the
cumulative effects of the two exposures could kill you.
INCAPACITATING CW AGENTS
Incapacitating CW agents temporarily disable
personnel but do not create permanent injury. They can
produce physiological and/or psychological effects.
These effects make individuals incapable of performing
duties for hours or days even after exposure has ceased.
Some incapacitating agents have effects that
typically last for significant periods of time but do not
seriously endanger life; for example, riot control agents.
Riot control agents produce only temporarily irritating
or incapacitating effects when used in normal
concentrations. Complete recovery is usually expected
without medical treatment.
EFFECTS OF CW AGENTS
CW agents will make you a casualty when your
body comes in contact with a bigger dose than it can
withstand. The limits of tolerance of the human body
vary from short periods of exposure and low
concentrations of certain agents to extended periods of
exposure and high concentrations of certain other
agents. Furthermore, the limits of tolerance to specific
agents vary with individuals. Your principal concern is
recognizing the symptoms and relieving the effects of
exposure before the limit of exposure is exceeded.
Poisoning by nerve agents affects bodily functions.
The disruption of nerve impulses produces different
effects on different body systems. Its important for you
to recognize both mild and severe signs and symptoms
of nerve agent poisoning. Mild symptoms will become
severe if personnel are repeatedly or continually
exposed to low concentrations of a nerve agent. High
concentrations of nerve agent poisoning will cause
rapid onset of severe symptoms, possibly without any
mild symptoms at all. The symptoms of nerve poisoning
are shown in the following chart:
Unexplained runny nose
Unexplained sudden headache
Excessive sudden drooling
Difficulty seeing (reduced vision or miosis)
Tightness in chest, difficulty breathing
Localized sweating and muscular twitching in the area
of contaminated skin
Strange or confused behavior
Wheezing, difficult, or labored respiration and cough
Severely pinpointed pupils
Red eyes with tearing
Severe muscular twitching and general weakness
Involuntary urination and defecation