Industrial Chemical Incidents

Authors:  Catriona J Thompson / Editor:  Adrian Boyle / Reviewer: Rebecca Ford  / Code: A7, T2Published: 14/06/2021


This session covers the assessment and management of patients presenting to an emergency department with the effects of exposure to industrial chemicals.

By the end of this session you will be able to:

  • Recognise a chemical incident
  • Ascertain exposure and toxic effects
  • Define decontamination
  • Outline the principles of treating the poisoned patient
  • Summarise the statutory background to industrial accidents and to the hospital response


  1. YAMASHITA, M and ANDO, Y. (2000) A long-term follow-up of lung function in survivors of paraquat poisoning. Human & Experimental Toxicology; 19 (2), pp. 99-103.
  2. Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH). Health and Safety Executive.
  3. Department of Health. Emergency Preparedness Division. (2005) The NHS Emergency Planning Guidance 2005.
  4. HEPTONSTALL, J and GENT, N. CBRN incidents: clinical management & health protection. Health Protection Agency, London.2008.
  5. Major Accident Hazard Bureau personal communication.
  6. BMJ Books (2002) Major Incident Medical Management & Support, 2nd ed. London.
  7. FISHER, J. (1999) Chemical incident management for accident and emergency clinicians. Chemical incident management series, Guys & St Thomas Hospital Trust. Medical Toxicology Unit, TSO (The Stationery Office).
  8. OKUMURA et al. (2005) Clinical review: Tokyo protecting the health care worker during
    a chemical mass casualty event: an important issue of continuing relevance. Critical Care, 9, pp. 397-400.
  9. KOENIG et al. (2008) Health Care facility-based decontamination of victims exposed to chemical, biological and radiological materials. American Journal of Emergency Medicine, 26 (1), pp. 71-80.
  10. DALY, F.F, LITTLE, M, MURRAY, L. (2006) A risk assessment based approach to the management of acute poisoning. Emerg. Med. J. 23, pp. 396-399.

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