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Life-saving drone shows vast potential of airborne tech

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The potential for drones to speed up access to life-saving healthcare has long been speculated upon – and now a case from Sweden has given the world a compelling example.

An Everdrone automous drone was used to deliver a defibrillator that helped save the life of a 71-year-old man.

The man, in Trollhättan, was shoveling snow in his driveway when he suffered an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA).

After an immediate emergency call, the quick actions of Dr. Mustafa Ali and the swift delivery of an automated external Defibrillator (AED), lifesaving measures through defibrillation could be initiated before the arrival of the ambulance, and his life was saved.

The time from the alarm until the AED was safely delivered at the doorstep of the incident address was just over three minutes. After the initial treatment on site, the patient was rushed to the hospital and is today fully recovered.

“This is a truly revolutionary technology that needs to be implemented all over”, said the patient who now has made a full recovery.

“I can’t put into words how thankful I am to this new technology and the speedy delivery of the defibrillator. If it wasn’t for the drone I probably wouldn’t be here”, he added.

Everdrone’s emergency medical aerial delivery service (EMADE) is designed to be a link in the chain of life-saving measures in the Swedish region of Västra Götaland.

For Dr. Mustafa Ali the experience was just as gratifying, despite the gravity of the situation.

“I was on my way to work at the local hospital when I looked out the car window and saw a man collapsed in his driveway”, says Dr. Ali. “I immediately understood that something was wrong and rushed to help.

“The man had no pulse, so I started doing CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) while asking another bystander to call 112 (the Swedish emergency number). Just minutes later, I saw something flying above my head. It was a drone with a defibrillator!”

Everdrone specialised in autonomous drone solutions, working in collaboration with Center for Resuscitation Science at Karolinska Institutet, SOS Alarm and Region Västra Götaland. The operations are also supported by Vinnova, Swelife and Medtech4Health.

“This is an excellent real-world example of how Everdrone’s cutting-edge drone technology, fully integrated with emergency dispatch, can minimize the time for access to life-saving AED equipment”, says Mats Sällström, CEO of Everdrone.

An estimated 275,000 patients in Europe and 350,000 in the US, suffer from OHCA annually.

Approximately 70 per cent of OHCAs occur in private homes without AEDs on site, and ambulance response times are often too long to save the life of the patient.

The chance of survival decreases by 7–10 per cent with each minute following the collapse, and consequently, the current survival rate among OHCA patients is merely 10%.

The drone system has been scientifically established to cut response times and the full study is published in the European Heart Journal.

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  1. Pingback: British Heart Foundation to use OS data in defib partnership

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