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The Challenge of Effective Triage in Chemical Casualties

One Army pamphlet directed that patients "should be kept lying down in the open air, so far as weather permits." Clothing over the chest was to be loosened and water was to be given, sometimes to encourage vomiting which could help expel gas from the patient's system.

"Gas cases were the most difficult of all to handle. It is impossible for the surgeon to properly diagnose his cases. One has no means of knowing whether he is dealing with delayed gas poisoning or with a simple case of Gas Fright (but) all palpable cases of poisoning were immediately evacuated, taking precedence over other cases."
-- Medical Officer, 3rd Division, at Chateau Thierry, July 1918

Gas casualties were encouraged to "refrain from moving about" and instructed to sleep; lightly gassed patients could quickly be restored to the line after a short time.
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