Vx Poisoning, Treatment Of Vx Poisoning
VX nerve agent (O-ethyl S-[2-diisoproylamino-ethyl] methylphsophonothioate) is one of the most toxic substances ever developed. Like other nerve agents, it is an organophosphate. Although it is often called a nerve gas, VX is usually a clear, odorless, tasteless liquid. A tiny amount of VX, about 10 mg, absorbed through the skin, eyes, or ingested is fatal, and death usually occurs within an hour of exposure. VX poisons by binding to the enzyme cholinesterase and inactivates it. As a result, the chemical signals passed between nerve cells are transmitted uncontrollably. Symptoms of VX poisoning include constriction of the pupils, headache, runny nose, and nasal congestion, chest tightness, giddiness, anxiety, and nausea, eventually progressing to convulsions and respiratory failure. VX poisoning can be treated immediately with two antidotes: atropine and pralidoxome chloride. Because of its extreme toxicity, VX is considered a weapon of mass destruction.