Researchers present sarin simulation scenario

Tennessee researchers recently created a simulated case scenario for sarin exposure that could be used by healthcare providers to better prepare themselves for a terrorist attack.

The simulation was produced by researchers from the Quillen College of Medicine's Center for Experiential Learning at East Tennessee State University. The article presents a simulation scenario that healthcare workers can use to review the presentation of exposure to nerve agents, the management of sarin exposure and a recipe for using the simulation as part of a training exercise, the Southern Medical Journal reports.

The authors of the article said that the risk of a terrorist attack on the United States is constant and increasing, particularly the use of chemical nerve agents.

"Chemical terrorism, specifically the use of nerve agents, has occurred in other nations," the authors said, according to the Southern Medical Journal. "Because of the ease of manufacture, the ability to conceal them, and the lethality of these agents, they pose a potential threat as a weapon of terror. Nerve agent exposure requires prompt recognition, a series of actions to mitigate further exposure to others, and management of the physiological sequelae of exposure."

The authors said that most civilian providers of healthcare are not prepared to manage injuries from nerve gas exposure. That lack of preparedness could increase mortality and morbidity in victims and put the providers themselves at risk.

Using the simulation, these providers could effectively train personnel in disaster preparedness, the Southern Medical Journal reports.