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Management of Chlorine Gas-Related Injuries From the Graniteville, South Carolina, Train Derailment

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 September 2014

Emily Mackie*
Affiliation:
Palmetto Health Richland, Department of Emergency Medicine, and Palmetto Poison Center, University of South Carolina, South Carolina College of Pharmacy, Columbia, South Carolina
Erik Svendsen
Affiliation:
Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Department of Global Environmental Health Sciences, New Orleans, Louisiana
Stephen Grant
Affiliation:
North Fulton Hospital, Department of Emergency Medicine, Roswell, Georgia
Jill E. Michels
Affiliation:
Palmetto Health Richland, Department of Emergency Medicine, and Palmetto Poison Center, University of South Carolina, South Carolina College of Pharmacy, Columbia, South Carolina Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Department of Global Environmental Health Sciences, New Orleans, Louisiana
William H. Richardson
Affiliation:
Palmetto Health Richland, Department of Emergency Medicine, and Palmetto Poison Center, University of South Carolina, South Carolina College of Pharmacy, Columbia, South Carolina
*
Correspondence and reprint requests to Emily Mackie, MD, Palmetto Health Richland, Department of Emergency Medicine, 5 Richland Medical Park Dr, Columbia, SC 29203 (e-mail: elmackie@gmail.com).

Abstract

A widely produced chemical, chlorine is used in various industries including automotive, electronics, disinfectants, metal production, and many others. Chlorine is usually produced and transported as a pressurized liquid; however, as a gas it is a significant pulmonary irritant. Thousands of people are exposed to chlorine gas every year, and while large-scale exposures are uncommon, they are not rare. Symptoms are usually related to the concentration and length of exposure, and although treatment is largely supportive, certain specific therapies have yet to be validated with randomized controlled trials. The majority of those exposed completely recover with supportive care; however, studies have shown the potential for persistent inflammation and chronic hyperreactivity. This case report describes an incident that occurred in Graniteville, South Carolina, when a train derailment exposed hundreds of people to chlorine gas. This report reviews the events of January 6, 2005, and the current treatment options for chlorine gas exposure.(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2014;0:1-6)

Type
Brief Report
Copyright
Copyright © Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health, Inc. 2014 

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