Humanitarianresponse Logo

Initial clinical management of patients exposed to chemical weapons

This interim guidance is aimed at healthcare workers who may receive patients exposed to chemical weapons at their healthcare facilities.

The guidance follows the case management flowchart on the next page.

It provides questions to guide the identification of contaminated patients, recommendations on personal protection, procedures for decontamination, guidance for triage and identification of categories of exposure, and treatment regimens for individual chemicals.

Users should study the contents of this document carefully and apply the principles and framework to their own situation and health care facilities.

Clinical work in this field should be accompanied with complete and practical training.


  1. Introduction
  2. Initial management of patients flowchart
  3. Decide whether patient has been exposed to chemicals
  4. Protect yourself and other personnel
  5. Prepare for emergency decontamination
  6. Decontamination using the RINSE – WIPE – RINSE technique
  7. Triage and identify class of exposure
  8. Signs and symptoms of chemical exposures
  9. Treatment protocols for chemical weapon exposures
  10. Methods employed in the development of this guidance
  11. Sources


Operation(s)/ Webspace(s): 
World Health Organization
Original Publication Date: 
31 Jan 2015
Document type: 
Handbook or Manual
Syria: Crisis 2011-2020