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Defibrillator drones could save lives in hard-to-reach areas

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - 01:34

Researchers have developed a drone with the capability of transporting and delivering an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) to rural areas in the first few minutes after cardiac arrest to facilitate early defibrillation. Roselle Chen reports.

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This drone could save lives. It carries a defibrillator onboard. SOUNDBITE (English) PARAMEDIC AND RESEARCHER, ANDREAS CLAESSON, SAYING: "This drone is kind of a common drone with the capability of transporting and delivering an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) in rural areas, outside of the cities, in the first few minutes after cardiac arrest just to facilitate early defibrillation." About 5,000 people per year suffer from sudden cardiac arrest in Sweden and around 70 percent of these attacks occur in rural areas. Survival chances decrease by up to 10 per cent for each minute that passes before emergency services arrive. After 15 minutes the chance of survival is almost nil. SOUNDBITE (English) PARAMEDIC AND RESEARCHER, ANDREAS CLAESSON, SAYING: "They (ambulances) don't really have the opportunities of reaching distant areas, such as islands or like the archipelago of Stockholm. And the delay is about 20-25-30 minutes in some cases. By placing a drone on the rooftop of a fire station we could dispatch a drone to reach 10-15-20 kilometers of radius in just 5 or 6 minutes and this increases the chance of survival from 0 percent to perhaps 20, 30, 40 percent." The team aims to launch a study next summer to dispatch a defibrillator via a drone to people in need in rural areas.

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Defibrillator drones could save lives in hard-to-reach areas

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - 01:34