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Defibrillator-Equipped Drones Could Be First on Scene in Cardiac Arrest

The defibrillator drone.

Dispatching drones outfitted with defibrillators like the one above could cut response times and increase survival rates during cardiac arrest.

Credit: Ashley Burke/CBC

CBC News (Canada)

Timothy Chan at the University of Toronto in Canada wants to use drone technology to help people who suffer cardiac arrest. Chan used computer models to determine that strategically placed drones with defibrillators could beat ambulances to the scene by several minutes and, in some cases, cut response times in half, increasing the chances of survival. Ambulance response times average 5 to 10 minutes in cities and often more than 20 minutes in rural communities. Chan and his team studied historical ambulance response times to 56,000 cardiac arrests in southern Ontario, Canada, over a nine-year period. They then applied an algorithm to determine where drones would have to be placed to arrive faster than 911 responders. The researchers examined the impact of a network of 81 drone bases with 100 drones in the eight municipalities in the Greater Toronto Area, and found it would cut the time it takes for ambulances to arrive by more than half in 90 percent of cardiac arrests. In addition, rural regions would experience a reduction in average response times from 19 minutes to 9 minutes in 90 percent of cases, and urban centers would see response times drop from more than 10 minutes to less than 4 minutes.

From "Defibrillator-Equipped Drones Could Be First on Scene in Cardiac Arrest"

CBC News (Canada) (11/15/16) Blair Bigham

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