SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF MILD NERVE AGENT POISONING
Nerve agents are absorbed rapidly and the effects are felt immediately. Signs
and symptoms of nerve agent poisoning are divided into two groups--mild and severe.
A person with mild symptoms is capable of administering first aid to himself (self-aid). A
person with severe symptoms is not capable of helping himself and must rely on others
to administer first aid (buddy-aid). The number and severity of symptoms that are
caused by nerve agent poisoning depend upon the amount of nerve agent absorbed by
the body. Early signs and symptoms of nerve agent poisoning include:
a. A sudden headache.
b. Blurred vision (difficulty seeing).
c. An unexplained runny nose.
d. Excessive flow of saliva (drooling).
e. Tightness in the chest causing a difficulty in breathing.
f. Stomach cramps.
h. Muscular twitching around exposed skin.
TAKING SELF-AID MEASURES
a. If you are given the "gas" alarm, notice signs and symptoms of nerve agent
poisoning in yourself, or notice signs of nerve agent poisoning in other soldiers and your
are not wearing your protective mask, you should stop breathing, put on your protective
mask, and seek overhead cover or use a poncho to provide cover.
b. If you have signs and symptoms of nerve agent poisoning and have already
masked, administer nerve agent antidote to yourself, decontaminate exposed and
contaminated skin, and put on the rest of your protective gear.
PUTTING ON YOUR PROTECTIVE MASK
In case of chemical attack, your first action should be to hold your breath and put
on your protective mask immediately. If you are having signs or symptoms of nerve
agent poisoning and are not masked, put on your protective mask before injecting
yourself with nerve agent antidote. Put on your mask as quickly as possible. You
should perform the following steps within 9 seconds.