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Lack of atropine in Syria hampers treatment after gas attacks

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f5413 (Published 03 September 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f5413

This article has a correction. Please see:

  1. Anne Gulland
  1. 1London

A doctor treating people injured in last month’s chemical attacks in Syria has described conditions in his hospital even before the attack as “primitive.”

Omar Hakeem, a surgeon in a hospital in the Damascus suburb of Gouta, where the attacks took place, communicated with the BMJ by email to tell how his hospital treated 825 patients on the morning of the chemical attack on 21 August. Some 64 of these patients died, including 13 children.

Hakeem said that patients displayed the classic symptoms of a chemical attack, including frothing at the mouth, blurred vision, convulsions, and difficulty breathing.

He said that doctors’ ability to treat patients poisoned in the chemical attack was hampered by poor conditions in the …

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