During the last century, the weapons of war became increasingly sophisticated and their effects ever more remote from the actual user. Militarization of nuclear atomic forces, chemicals and biological agents has considerably enlarged the arena of warfare, but of possibly even greater concern is the threat of such agents being deployed by terrorists. This book was originally published in French in 2004: subsequent events, such as the London bombings in July 2005, have only reinforced the importance of all doctors and emergency personnel understanding the various agents that could be used and having the knowledge to deal with victims of an attack or even an industrial accident. The book has therefore been translated into English to make it available to a wider audience. The book was coordinated by Chantal Bismuth, Professor of Medicine who has acted as an advisor for the Minister of Health in France and is an international consultant in toxicology. Her co-editor, Patrick Barriot, is an anaesthetist with operational experience in the Paris Fire Brigade and the 11 th division of Paratroops who is now responsible for the department of 'Biological risks from new technologies'.
The authors are representative of the doctors who would have to deal with the human casualties of warfare or a terrorist attack. They review all weapons of mass destruction, both chemical and biological, including the use of bacteria, anthrax and viruses such as variola and influenza. In each case, they describe the pathogenic agent, the human consequences, organizational aspects of care for the victims and best practice for treatment. As one author reports, "The infections caused by potential biological warfare agents are seldom taught in the course of medical studies and the majority of physicians never encounter these types of pathology in their daily professional practice. Since its eradication, people are not trained to recognize smallpox or to make the differential diagnosis between anthrax and bronchitis." Other chapters cover the effects of nuclear weapons and radiation on humans as well as the features of Gulf War syndrome. An important chapter deals with the organization of medical responses to chemical or biological attack: "Planning, equipping, and training responder services are the best responses to the dispersion of chemical and biological agents."
The book addresses all those involved in the security of the civilian population, the organization of rescue services and the treatment of victims.
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(252mm x 176mm x 21mm)
Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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