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February 21, 2024

Student’s Life Saved by Apple Watch After Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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Written by AiBot

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Jan 6, 2024

A student in Delaware is crediting her Apple Watch with saving her life after she suffered carbon monoxide poisoning in her apartment. Natalie Naska, a 23-year-old graduate student at Wesley College in Dover, Delaware, was recently poisoned by a carbon monoxide leak in her apartment.

Carbon Monoxide Incident

On January 2nd, Naska had fallen asleep in her apartment after returning from visiting family for the holidays. She woke up with a terrible headache and feeling disoriented. As her condition deteriorated, she activated the Emergency SOS feature on her Apple Watch Series 8, which automatically dialed 911.

First responders arrived quickly and discovered high levels of carbon monoxide in her apartment. A malfunctioning boiler was determined to be the source of the odorless, poisonous gas. Naska was rushed to the hospital where doctors said the carbon monoxide levels in her body were potentially fatal.

Apple Watch Emergency Features

The Apple Watch has several potentially life-saving features, particularly the Emergency SOS option. When activated, Emergency SOS will immediately call emergency services and alert designated emergency contacts.

Apple has steadily improved these safety features on the Apple Watch with each new model:

Model Year Released Safety Features
Series 1 2016 Emergency calls
Series 4 2018 Electrical heart sensor, Fall detection
Series 5 2019 International emergency calling
Series 6 2020 Blood oxygen monitoring
Series 7 2021 Improved blood oxygen monitoring, Fast charging
Series 8 2022 Crash detection, Temperature sensing

On the latest Series 8 model, the added Crash Detection feature can detect severe car crashes and automatically dial emergency services if the wearer is unresponsive.

Saved by Activation of Emergency SOS

By activating Emergency SOS on her Apple Watch Series 8 when she recognized something was very wrong, Natalie Naska ensured she got the immediate medical treatment she needed to save her life.

Doctors said that her condition could likely have been fatal if she had not received prompt emergency care. Authorities also tested the carbon monoxide levels in her apartment after she was hospitalized and determined they were dangerously high. The boiler malfunction was soon fixed after it was identified as the cause.

Naska has made a full recovery after spending time in the hospital where she was treated with pure oxygen to clear the toxic gas from her body.

Ongoing Risks of Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide poisoning kills over 400 people each year in the United States. The gas is impossible to detect, as it is colorless, odorless and tasteless. Prolonged exposure can be lethal as it combines more easily with blood than oxygen, preventing vital organs from getting oxygenated blood flow.

Some common causes of dangerous carbon monoxide build ups:

  • Malfunctioning fuel-burning appliances like boilers or stoves
  • Running a car inside an attached garage
  • Blocked vehicle tailpipes from snow or debris

Gas detectors with alarms can alert residents to dangerous leaks of combustible gases like carbon monoxide and natural gas before exposure becomes deadly. However, many cheap models may not always be reliable.

Having a safety feature like the Apple Watch’s Emergency SOS can be a lifesaver if carbon monoxide has already begun poisoning someone by ensuring fast emergency response.

What This Means for Apple

This incident will further boost Apple’s reputation for designing products with innovative health and safety features. The company first added emergency calling capabilities with the first Apple Watch model in 2015 and has expanded those features through each new edition culminating in this life-saving activation.

Other wearable devices like FitBits or Samsung smartwatches also offer safety features, but none offer the same level of emergency response integration as the Apple Watch.

Competitors will likely highlight safety improvements in future smartwatch models to match capabilities Apple pioneered. But for now, the Apple Watch remains the market leader when it comes to wearable safety technology.

As adoption of smartwatches grows, their value as potential lifesavers through integrated sensors and emergency alerts will continue increasing. Apple’s brand may benefit the most thanks to its existing Emergency SOS system proving itself through high-profile rescues.

What’s Next

  • Authorities will likely investigate the malfunctioning boiler in Naska’s building to determine how the dangerous gas leak occurred and if other residents are still at risk. Updates to building codes and expanded gas detector requirements could follow.

  • As Naska fully recovers, she will likely speak out to raise awareness of carbon monoxide dangers and encourage the use of devices like Apple Watches that can quickly summon help when every minute counts. This highly public incident will bring the issue further into the national spotlight.

  • Apple will probably highlight this as a success story of their safety focused hardware design and marketing. They may even bring Naska out at a future product reveal to promote lifesaving capabilities expanded in the next Apple Watch version.

  • Other smart watch makers have work to do if they want to match Apple’s lead in emergency response integration. Many may partner further with services like fall detection provider SafeTrek or add improved sensors to quickly detect more threats.

This harrowing incident will refocus attention on the hidden dangers of carbon monoxide leaks. But thanks to her Apple Watch, a dangerous situation had the best possible outcome. Wearable safety features can give vital extra minutes for emergency help to arrive after an unsafe exposure. This case will accelerate further innovation to broaden those lifesaving capabilities.

AiBot

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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