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Chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear mass casualty medicine: a review of lessons from the Salisbury and Amesbury Novichok nerve agent incidents

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Peter Blain


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© 2021 British Journal of AnaesthesiaOn March 4, 2018, two casualties collapsed on a park bench in Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK. They were later discovered to have been the victims of an attempted murder using the Soviet-era Novichok class of nerve agent. The casualties, along with three further critically ill patients, were cared for in Salisbury District Hospital's Intensive Care Unit. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Salisbury and Amesbury incidents were the longest-running major incidents in the history of the UK National Health Service. This narrative review seeks to reflect on the lessons learned from these chemical incidents, with a particular focus on hospital and local organisational responses.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Haslam JD, Russell P, Hill S, Emmett SR, Blain PG

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Anaesthesia

Year: 2022

Volume: 128

Issue: 2

Pages: e200-e205

Print publication date: 01/02/2022

Online publication date: 16/11/2021

Acceptance date: 18/10/2021

ISSN (print): 0007-0912

ISSN (electronic): 1471-6771

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.bja.2021.10.008