Drones could help save the lives of heart attack victims
The drones carrying defibrillators could save lives by reaching someone whose heart has stopped quicker than an ambulance.
Every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces someone’s chance of survival by 10 per cent.
Jacob Hollenberg, associate professor at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, wondered if drones could transport a defibrillator to someone in need.
A device was attached to a drone used by fire crews in Norrtälje, a town north of Stockholm, and flown to locations where cardiac arrests had taken place since 2009.
Over 18 flights, the median time taken was 5 minutes 21 seconds. Currently, people stricken by heart attacks outside of hospitals have only an eight to 10 percent survival rate. Reducing access time to a defibrillation – which restarts the heart with an electric pulse – is key factor to increasing survival.
During real emergencies, ambulances took a median time of 22 minutes. Mr Hollenberg’s team is now preparing to dispatch the drone in real emergencies.