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Drones with Defibrillators Are Saving Lives


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Representational image of a medical drone.

The usage of defibrillators is one of the most important interventions for cardiac arrest.

Credit: phuttaphat tipsana/iStock

In a study of the use of drones equipped with automated external defibrillators (AEDs, devices that apply an electric charge to the heart to restore a normal heartbeat), researchers at Sweden's Karolinska Institutet found the drones were at the scene of a suspected cardiac arrest a median of 3 minutes and 14 seconds before ambulances in 67% of the cases examined.

Said Karolinska Institutet's Andreas Claesson, "Our study now shows once and for all that it is possible to deliver AED with drones and that this can be done several minutes before the arrival of the ambulance in connection with acute cardiac arrest."

Claesson said in some of the cases, the person who dialed 911 was instructed to retrieve and use the AED before an ambulance's arrival.

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