Article Text

Toxicology and Military Anaesthesia
  1. Major TC Nicholson-Roberts, BSc MRCP(UK) FRCA DipMedTox RAMC, Specialist Registrar Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine1
  1. MDHU Derriford, Brest Road, Plymouth PL6 5YE tcnr{at}


The combination of trauma and poisoning is a situation likely to be faced by a deployed force at some point. This article provides practical advice on how to deal with poisoned patients without deviating from the concept of damage control resuscitation. The constraints of limited diagnostics, both at the scene and clinically, and lack of antidotal therapy are fundamental to the practice of clinical toxicology. Some of the specific therapies such as atropine and oximes were not evaluated prior to their introduction and there are few randomised controlled trials of poisoned patients. Most of the diagnoses will be made on clinical grounds and most of the therapy will be supportive; this article aims to reassure military anaesthetists in the process of dealing with the poisoned trauma patient.

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