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Microscopic section of human lung from phosgene shell poisoning: death at 19th hour after gassing, c.1917

Keywords: Cell, Medical History, Military Medicine

Microscopic section of human lung from phosgene shell poisoning: death at 19th hour after gassing, c.1917

This rare illustration shows the pathological damage caused by phosgene in World War I. Phosgene gas proved to be even more dangerous than its forerunner - chlorine - as it induced much less coughing and consequently more of it was inhaled. It also had a delayed effect, so that apparently healthy soldiers could succumb to poisoning up to 48 hours after inhalation. As with other poison gases, phosgene attacked the respiratory system and resulted in suffocation.

 

Colour halftone on board by AK Maxwell CC BY: Wellcome Library, London Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://images.wellcome.ac.uk/indexplus/page/Terms+of+Use.html 

https://wellcomecollection.org/articles/military-medicine/?image=10