LFR Uses Cyanide Antidote Kit for the First Time

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LINCOLN, Neb.-- Lincoln Fire and Rescue responds to numerous calls on a daily basis, but Wednesday night they had a first.

LFR believes a woman who was in cardiac arrest is alive today thanks to a Cyanide Antidote kit.

Division Chief Roger Bonin says when they're in the field they don't know if someone was exposed to hydrogen cyanide so they administer the antidote just to be safe.

Hydrogen cyanide is a deathly, odorless, colorless gas. When it is inhaled, it binds with red blood cells and doesn't allow a person to use the oxygen in their body.

The hydroxocobalamin that's given from the Cyanide Antidote kit combines with the cyanide and allows the cyanide to be excreted in the urine.

LFR has had the kit for over two years, but Wednesday was the first time they've had to use it. The kit contains two doses and each dose costs $800.

The kit is carried by EMS Supervisors who are credentialed to administer the antidote.

LFR obtained the the kit through a grant. Each dose only has a shelf life of a couple of years.