By Chris Stonor
Medical history was made last month when an Everdrone autonomous drone delivered a defibrillator that saved the life of a 71-year-old Swedish man after suffering a heart attack, reports a press release. This unique achievement took place in the city of Trollhättan.
The man was shovelling snow in his driveway when he suffered the cardiac arrest (OHCA), but thanks to the combination of an immediate emergency call, the quick actions of a Dr. Mustafa Ali, and the swift drone delivery of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), “lifesaving measures through defibrillation” could be initiated before the arrival of an ambulance.
The time from the alarm until the AED was safely delivered at the doorstep of the incident address was a staggeringly brief three minutes. After the initial treatment on-site, the patient was rushed to hospital and is today fully recovered and back at home.
The very grateful 71-year-old enthuses, “I can’t put into words how thankful I am to this new technology and the speedy delivery of the defibrillator. If it wasn’t for the drone I probably wouldn’t be here.”
For Dr. Mustafa Ali the experience was just as gratifying, despite the seriousness of the situation. “I was on my way to work at the local hospital when I looked out the car window and saw a man collapsed in his driveway,” he explains. “I immediately understood that something was wrong and rushed to help. The man had no pulse, so I started doing CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) while asking another bystander to call 112 (the Swedish emergency number). Just minutes later, I saw something flying above my head. It was a drone with a defibrillator!”
The saved man adds, “This is a truly revolutionary technology that needs to be implemented all over. Sudden cardiac arrests can happen to anyone, not just old people with arteriosclerosis.”
Everdrone’s Emergency Medical Aerial Delivery service (EMADE), is an innovative link in the chain of life-saving measures of Region Västra Götaland, Sweden. The solution has been developed and is continuously improved in close collaboration with Centre for Resuscitation Science at Karolinska Institutet, SOS Alarm and Region Västra Götaland. The operations are also supported by Vinnova, Swelife and Medtech4Health.
Mats Sällström, CEO of Everdrone, comments, “This is an excellent real-world example of how Everdrone’s cutting-edge drone technology, fully integrated with emergency dispatch, can minimise the time for access to life-saving AED equipment.”
Around 275,000 patients in Europe and 350,000 in the US, suffer from cardiac arrest annually. Approximately 70 percent of OHCAs occur in private homes without AEDs on site and ambulance response times are often too long to save the life of the patient. The chance of survival decreases by 7–10 percent with each minute following the collapse and consequently, the current survival rate among OHCA patients is just 10 percent. Everdrone’s innovative airborne AED delivery service is a proven method to tackle this critical issue. The service can currently reach 200,000 residents in Sweden and is expected to expand to more locations in Europe during 2022.
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