Florida EMS and fire vehicles will stock cyanide antidote
Cyanokit provides first responders with a critical-care medication to treat patients immediately at the scene of a fire or other accident as well as in a hospital emergency room, according to Napa, Calif.-based Dey LP, which distributes the drug in the United States.
Cyanokit is the only treatment approved by the Food and Drug Administration for victims of suspected cyanide poisoning, according to Dey LP.
“It is critical that we do whatever we can to enhance the safety of Florida’s first response personnel and the victims they care for in emergencies involving potential exposure to cyanide,” said Dr. Joe Nelson, Florida EMS medical director. “Because cyanide poisoning acts very quickly, the immediate quick response capability that Cyanokit provides at the scene of an emergency will be critical in treating known or suspected victims of cyanide poisoning. Inclusion of Cyanokit in our EMS and fire vehicles will help protect both our emergency first responders and Florida’s citizens.”
Studies have shown that cyanide, a common but often unrecognized toxic chemical found in fire smoke, may play a significant role in causing the deaths of smoke inhalation victims. In the United States, smoke inhalation is responsible for up to 10,000 civilian and firefighter deaths and more than 20,000 injuries annually, according to Dey LP.
“Florida’s stocking of Cyanokit in its EMS and fire vehicles reflects a recognition by state officials that first responders need to be prepared to treat cyanide poisoning immediately in an emergency,” said Carolyn Myers, Ph.D., president of Dey LP. “The ability to treat suspected cases of cyanide poisoning at the scene of a fire or other accident gives potential victims a much-needed measure of safety when survival can be measured in minutes.”
Cyanokit 5g (hydroxocobalamin for injection) ANTIDOTE is distributed by Dey LP and manufactured by Merck Sante s.a.s. of Semoy, France.