A systems dynamics approach to the efficacy of oxime therapy for mild exposure to sarin gas


  • Daniel J. Droste, MS
  • Michael L. Shelley, PhD
  • Jeffery M. Gearhart, PhD
  • David M. Kempisty, PhD




system dynamics, oxime therapy, nerve agents, physiologically based pharmacokinetics, model


The use of nerve agents such as sarin is as much a threat today as any other time in our history. The events in Syria in 2013 are proof of this. “The Obama administration asserted Sunday for the first time that the Syrian government used the nerve gas sarin to kill more than 1,400 people (August 21, 2013) in the world's gravest chemical weapons attack in 25 years.” With these recent events clear in our mind, we must focus on the horrific nature of these chemical agents to devise a strategy that will enable first responders to counteract these insidious chemicals. This paper presents research on a physiologically based pharmacokinetic model to determine whether the current treatment protocol prescribed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the US Army is effective in treating victims suffering from acute exposure symptoms. The model was used to determine what treatment should be used for victims suffering from mild exposure symptoms. The results indicate that the current CDC and US Army treatment is effective, but treatment with oxime therapy was not effective in alleviating symptoms of mild exposure. By applying these results, an effective treatment protocol was developed.

Author Biographies

Daniel J. Droste, MS

Lt Col Daniel J. Droste, MS, Environmental Compliance Officer, Marine Corps Installation Command, 3000 Marine Corps, Pentagon, Washington, District of Columbia.


Michael L. Shelley, PhD

Lt Col (Ret) Michael L. Shelley, PhD, Professor, Systems Dynamics Analysis, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio.

Jeffery M. Gearhart, PhD

Toxicologist, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio

David M. Kempisty, PhD

Lt Col David M. Kempisty, PhD, Associate Professor, Environmental Engineering, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio.


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How to Cite

Droste, MS, D. J., M. L. Shelley, PhD, J. M. Gearhart, PhD, and D. M. Kempisty, PhD. “A Systems Dynamics Approach to the Efficacy of Oxime Therapy for Mild Exposure to Sarin Gas”. American Journal of Disaster Medicine, vol. 11, no. 2, Apr. 2016, pp. 89-118, doi:10.5055/ajdm.2016.0229.