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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Bioterrorism: The Laboratory's Role and Response. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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In Case of a Chemical Attack

  • Listen to the radio for instructions from authorities on whether to evacuate or stay put.
  • If told to stay inside, seek shelter in an internal room or a room with as few doors and windows as possible. Turn off all ventilation and as best as possible seal all openings in windows and doors. Continue to monitor the radio.
  • A minimal amount of protection may be provided by breathing through a damp cloth. Do not go outside to assist someone injured in the attack unless authorities say it is safe.
  • If you think you have been exposed during a chemical attack and cannot get to immediate medical help, begin decontamination by removing all clothing, glasses, and contact lenses. Cut clothing rather than pull it over your head and either leave the clothing outside or place it into a plastic bag. Be sure to flush your eyes with lots of water and gently wash any exposed skin with soap and water. Be sure to rinse thoroughly.  Change clothing.
  • Seek medical evaluation.