UN chemical experts confirm use of sarin gas in Syria
A team of experts tasked to investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons in the ongoing civil war in Syria have comleted and submitted their report to the Secretary General , Ban Ki Moon. In a televised broadcast Ban Ki Moon confirmed the overwhelming evidence for the use of the nerve agent, Sarin. This evidence was gathered from rocks and soil samples, clothing etc from victims of the 21st August, 2013 attack which occurred in the Ghouta region of Rif Dimashq , Syria. This led to the death of about 1, 400 to 1700 people including children.
Sarin is a colorless, odorless organophosphate nerve agent with chemical formula CH3)2CHO]CH3P(O)F. It works by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase leading to pooling of acetylcholine at the synaptic cleft leading to over stimulation of the motor end plate causing muscle paralysis. Exposure to even low doses can cause hypoxia in the victims leading to death in one minute without intervention.
Presentation : SLUDGE pnemonic , salivation, lacrimation, urination, defecation, gastrointestinal distress and emesis. Victims initially present with rhinorrhea , chest discomfort followed by series of convulsions, hypoxia, coma and death.
Investigations : Sarin or its metabolites can be assayed from blood or urine samples by gas or liguid chromatography.
Treatment : The effect can be reversed by pralidoxime wich helps to regenerate acetylcholinesterase. Atropine or biperidine is also given to reduce the muscarinic side effects of sarin