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Friday, July 21, 2017

EMERGENCY DRONES

Emergency ambulance crews are hampered by distance in rural areas and traffic congestion in cities--critical factors in getting emergency help to someone in cardiac arrest. A cardiac arrest away from a hospital in this country has a survival rate of only eight to ten percent. Reducing the time to get defibrillation (shocking the heart) is considered the most important factor to increase survival. There may be a better way. In Sweden, a drone equipped with an AED (automatic external defibrillator) is dispatched to a location pinpointed by a 911 phone call. Median time from dispatch to arrival of the drone was just over five minutes compared to a median arrival time of twenty-two minutes by ambulance-- perhaps a life-saving sixteen-minute difference!

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