Emergency Medical Drones

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Emergency Medical Drones
By Jerry Brownstein
Last winter a Swedish man received a new chance at life that was delivered via drone. While shovelling snow he suffered a cardiac arrest, but luckily a passerby saw him collapse and called emergency services. After just three minutes a drone arrived and hovered over the driveway. The drone winched down an automated external defibrillator (AED), with clear instructions on how to attach its yellow pads to the patient’s body. The quick response saved the man’s life. 

Every minute that passes after a cardiac arrest decreases the patient’s survival rate. Ambulances can get stuck in traffic jams, but these Swedish drones are airborne within 60 seconds of being called. Applying the AED is very simple, and after that the machine does all the work. It automatically detects the patient’s heart rhythm and will only deliver shocks when the heart stops. Drones are ideal for delivering medical aid in all situations where speed is of the essence, and also to areas where patients are far from the nearest clinic or pharmacy. This industry is growing rapidly, and the US company Zipline has already had success in delivering medical supplies in Ghana and Rwanda. They plan to expand by transporting blood, antibiotics, medication and vaccines to remote areas of the US.


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