Blood Agents Essay

1047 words - 5 pages

Blood Agents are in a group of chemicals known as “cyanogen agents”. Not all cyanogens agents are blood agents. The three main blood agents are AC (hydrogen cyanide), CK (cyanogens chloride), and SA (Arsine). These agents work by preventing oxygen interaction during cellular respiration. Hydrogen Cyanide and Cyanogen Chloride are fast acting and require immediate action to prevent death. Arsine has delayed symptoms and can be more lethal due to unknown exposure.
Hydrogen Cyanide (AC) is known by other names. Some of these names are Cyclone (Russian), Prussic Acid, and Forestite (French). It has the smell of bitter almonds. It is classified as an inhalation hazard (Potential Military ...view middle of the document...

There are other treatments for AC poisoning, but these treatments require the use of drugs not normally stocked in a medic’s aid bag. The casualty would need evacuation to a battalion aid station or hospital for proper medical treatment.
Cyanogen Chloride (CK) was in use as an industrial chemical shortly before the outbreak of World War I.
Physical State: (20oC) Colorless liquid or gas
Boiling Point: 12.8oC
Freezing Point: -6.9oC
Cyanogen Chloride will penetrate filter elements of protective masks rapidly. It is the quickest of the blood agents to penetrate the filter element. (Cashman, J. R. (2008))
It was introduced as a chemical warfare agent in World War I (Pharm, J. (2010)). It was an upgrade from Hydrogen Cyanide. Cyanogen Chloride was a heavier gas, works in smaller concentrations, and causes excessive tearing and choking effects. This choking action could cause the victim to panic and forget to mask. It also has a smell of bitter almonds. Cyanogen Chloride affects the body in the same manner as Hydrogen Cyanide, exhibits the same symptoms, and is treated in a similar way. It is not a volatile as Hydrogen Cyanide and will need decontamination if it collects on the skin or eyes. It was most recently used by Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war, 1983-1988 (Pharm, J. (2010)). Protective mask filters will need to be changed after the attack has passed.
Hydrogen Cyanide and Cyanogen Chloride affect the body functions in a similar way. They disrupt the body’s ability to process oxygen on the cellular level by inhibiting the cytochrome oxidase system. In simple terms, these agents prevent normal cellular respiration. The cells are not able to process oxygen and the cell slowly dies. This process happens due to cyanide having a strong bonding with Iron with a plus 3 charge (Fe+3). When cyanide bonds with the Iron in the hemoglobin, it prevents the Oxygen from becoming attached to the hemoglobin. The treatment for Hydrogen cyanide and Cyanogen Chloride are sodium nitrate and sodium thiosulfate, the main focus of treatment is to introduce compounds by intravenous injection. These compounds will break down the cyanide and allow the cells to continue normal cellular respiration. If a victim is still breathing 5...

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