In 2020, Scafide compared a white light to an alternative light source to see which was more effective at detecting bruises. They discovered the ALS was five times better than the white light at finding bruises on victims with varying skin tones.
ALS technology uses a specific wavelength of light to make it easier to identify bruises. You’ve likely seen it used on crime shows like “CSI,” she told Nurse.org. “You’ll see them shining a light looking for blood spatter or other types of latent evidence that you can’t see very well.”
Her research is significant because the technology doesn’t stand up in court without a study to demonstrate its effectiveness.
Now that she and her team have provided evidence of ALS’ effectiveness, they are working on clinical guidelines and training for health care professionals to use it.
“We’re hoping that in the future, alternate light sources will be more accessible … and make it easier for forensic nurses to understand how to use it and how to interpret what they’re seeing,” she told Nurse.org.
“Interpreting and documenting what they see is really key,” she added. “Because if you misinterpret or misdocument what you’re seeing, then that can obviously have a significant effect on the legal outcomes and medical outcomes. So we want to make sure that nurses are properly trained and educated on how to use it.”
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