Accession Number : ADA327368

Title :   Gulf War Illnesses: Enhanced Monitoring of Clinical Progress and of Research Priorities Needed.

Corporate Author : GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTERNATIONAL A FFAIRS DIV

PDF Url : ADA327368

Report Date : 24 JUN 1997

Pagination or Media Count : 14

Abstract : Before turning to the results of our work in detail, let me briefly provide some background information and discuss the methodology we used for our study. During their deployment associated with the Persian Gulf War, many of the approximately 700,000 veterans of the Gulf War may have been exposed to a variety of potentially hazardous substances. These substances include compounds used to decontaminate equipment and protect it against chemical agents, fuel used as a sand suppressant in and around encampments, fuel oil used to burn human waste, fuel in shower water, leaded vehicle exhaust used to dry sleeping bags, depleted uranium, parasites, pesticides, drugs to protect against chemical warfare agents (such as pyridostigmine bromide), and smoke from oil-well fires. Moreover, DOD acknowledged in June 1996 that some veterans may have been exposed to the nerve agent sarin following the postwar demolition of Iraqi ammunition facilities. Many of these veterans have complained of a wide array of symptoms and disabling conditions since the end of the war in 1991. Some fear that they are suffering from chronic disabling conditions because of exposure to chemicals, pesticides, and other agents used during the war with known or suspected health effects. Accordingly, both DOD and VA established programs through which Gulf War veterans could receive medical examinations and diagnostic services. From 1992 to 1994, VA participants received a regular physical examination with basic laboratory tests. In 1994, VA established a standardized examination to obtain information about exposures and symptoms related to diseases endemic to the Gulf region and to order specific tests to detect the 'biochemical fingerprints' of certain diseases. If a diagnosis was not apparent, veterans could receive up to 22 additional tests and additional specialty consultations.

Descriptors :   *MILITARY PERSONNEL, *DIAGNOSIS(MEDICINE), *ILLNESS, *EXPOSURE(PHYSIOLOGY), *MEDICAL EXAMINATION, TEST AND EVALUATION, GULFS, IRAQ, LABORATORY TESTS, PERSIAN GULF, CHEMICALS, WATER, HEALTH, BIOCHEMISTRY, DEMOLITION, FACILITIES, ARRAYS, DISEASES, SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS, SAND, MOISTURE CONTENT, SMOKE, FEAR, AMMUNITION, LOW LEVEL, FIRES, VEHICLES, PARASITES, DRUGS, DEPLETED URANIUM, CHEMICAL WARFARE AGENTS, PYRIDOSTIGMINE BROMIDE, HAZARDOUS MATERIALS, PESTICIDES, FUEL OIL, SLEEPING BAGS, SUPPRESSORS, LEAD(METAL), OIL WELLS, SHOWER FACILITIES, FINGERPRINTS.

Subject Categories : Personnel Management and Labor Relations
      Medicine and Medical Research

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE