Most people don’t realize that carbon monoxide and cyanide poisoning share similar symptoms. Fewer people realize that cyanide can be found in smoke. This misconception leads to fire victims being diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning when they are suffering from cyanide poisoning. SeaCoast Science Incorporated saw this problem and dedicated itself to creating a device that will quickly and accurately detect the chemicals in a fire victims blood sample, leading to the correct diagnosis and treatment.
SeaCoast’s chemical detection system isn’t available for use yet, but the device’s specifications can be found on their website. The detection system has four pairs of eight sensors. Each sensor is sensitive to a different compound family like Alcohols, Aromatic Hydrocarbons, and more. Current testing processes require several hours before a result can be reached, SeaCoast’s system only takes 60 seconds.
Misdiagnosis of carbon monoxide poisoning can lead to improper treatment which can be fatal. One of the most common warning signs to cyanide poisoning is the smell of almonds. However, fire victims often will be overwhelmed by the smoke from the fire that they would be unable to smell almonds, leading to a misdiagnosis. SeaCoast’s system will help diagnose fire victims and save lives.