Delayed Skin, Neurological and Ophthalmological Complications of Chemical Weapons in Peshmargas

Proceedings of the 4th International Scientific Conference of Hawler Medical University

Delayed Skin, Neurological and Ophthalmological Complications of Chemical Weapons in Peshmargas

Dindar Sh. Qurtas, Hawler Medical University

Abdullah F. Ahmed, KBMS

Barzan A Ahmed, DOH, Erbil Teaching Hospital

Barzhang Q Saleem, DOH, Pirmam General Hospital

Email address: [email protected]

DOI: 10.15218/hmu.04.10

Published: 11 Nov 2018

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Abstract

Background and objective: From 2014 to 2017 when the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) occupied some areas of Iraq, they used Chemical weapon against Kurdish soldiers (Peshmargas) at battle areas, which lead to tens of casualties. A chemical agent is “a chemical substance which is intended for use in military operations to kill, seriously injure or incapacitate people because of its physiological effects. We aimed to study delayed complications of chemical weapons used by ISIS in Iraq, as up to our information no studies have been performed on delayed complications in those victims.

Methods: This is a descriptive study, we evaluated 163 male patients who were exposed to chemical agents used by ISIS against Kurdish Peshmargas in Iraq from 2015-2016. Interviews were arranged in medically equipped centers. Each patient was interviewed separately face-to-face, for about 15–20 minutes. The data was entered into, and analyzed with, SPSS program version 22.

Results: The mean age of victims and SD was 34.9±9.6 years. Right after the chemical attacks, the most common clinical manifestation was nausea (76.7%). The most common delayed complications were itching, localized hair loss and xerosis (skin), Fatigue, headache, vertigo and tremor (neurological) and itching, eye redness and eye tearing (eyes).

Conclusion: Multiple delayed skin, neurological and eye complications were identified among Peshmargas exposed to chemical attacks. Further studies are required to evaluate other systems delayed complications including respiratory as well as follow up of victims for a longer term for the appearance of expected complication.

Keywords: Chemical weapons; Sulfur mustard; Peshmargas; Delayed complications.

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