Faster than the ambulance, it only took a few minutes to reach the victim: an autonomous drone carrying a defibrillator saved the life of a 71-year-old man who suffered cardiac arrest in Sweden.
“From the first call to 112 (the emergency number, editor’s note) until the drone receives the signal to start and go, it has taken about 15-30 seconds. The whole process took about three and a half minutes“, tells AFP Sven, who prefers to keep his last name silent.
A very good tool, especially when it comes to patients away from the hospital
At the beginning of December, this inhabitant of Trollhattan in the west of Sweden, clears the snow in front of his home when he is sick. The septuagenarian can count on luck since a doctor, Mustafa Ali, passing by on his way to work, will stop immediately to perform a first cardiac massage while Sven’s wife contacts the emergency number.
The defibrillator by drone arrived, Mustafa Ali will then get down to revive Sven’s heart with the machine.
Combined with rapid resuscitation and drugs administered in the ambulance which arrived a few minutes later, for Mr. Ali, the device “really helped“to save the life of man.”I think this is a very good tool, especially when it comes to patients far from the nearest hospital“, explains the doctor.
Using winches, the defibrillator went down without the machine needing to land.
Several uses of emergency drones envisaged
The use of medical drones is part of a project led by the company Everdrone in the region of Gothenburg (west), in collaboration with the Resuscitation Science Center of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, the Swedish emergency service SOS Alarm and the regional health authority.
The network can currently reach 200,000 residents in Sweden and “expected to expand to other locations in Europe during the year 2022“, explains the company in a press release.
In the future, drones could also be equipped with other medical equipment, according to Everdrone. “You could imagine these drones delivering trauma kits in various situations (…) going to hard-to-reach islands or other places where it’s hard to go at all“, says the CEO of Everdrone, Mats Sällström, interviewed by AFP.
“We started with the defibrillator because it is an event where time is running out“and where a drone can really make a difference,” he added.