We are now comfortable with the idea of drones delivering packages, capturing wedding photos, and providing other essential services conveniently, effectively and efficiently. In the future, we might also see drones offering emergency medical treatment to persons who have suffered a cardiac arrest.
When a person suffers a heart attack in the hospital, he has access to emergency medical treatment as the facility is fully equipped with defibrillators, monitors, medications and the other equipment necessary to minimize damage to the cardiac muscles, and place the person back on the road to a quick recovery. However, when a heart attack occurs outside the hospital, there is often no such access to defibrillators. Ambulances must race to deliver lifesaving equipment and personnel to the patient. Any delay results in an increased risk of death.
Swedish researchers believe that drones may be the answer. These doctors are investigating how drones can be used to deliver lifesaving care by providing emergency medical treatment to persons who have suffered a heart attack outside the hospital setting. According to the researchers, a drone that is carrying a defibrillator could arrive in advance of an ambulance. The difference in time could be as much as 16 minutes, which could mean the difference between life and death for the patient.
The evidence in support of the quicker delivery of automated external defibrillator devices is apparent. About 10% of all heart attack patients survive. However, research reveals when the patient has access to CPR or an automated external defibrillator device, the odds of surviving a heart attack double or even triple.
Often found in public facilities, automated defibrillators are not always available in rural areas. For the loved ones of a patient like this, there is no other option but to call emergency services, which may be a long time arriving on the scene. A drone could deliver the automated defibrillator device within just a few minutes, enhancing the person’s chances of survival dramatically.
In 2016, the researchers conducted tests on these drone deliveries and found that they were able to deliver the life-saving device in just over five minutes. In comparison, automated devices carried by an emergency medical team took approximately 22-minutes to reach the patient. The research revealed that a drone could take off just 3 seconds after receiving a call for help. In comparison, dispatch by an EMS team takes approximately 3-minutes to yield results.
More studies are required to understand the full possibilities of this technology and whether the money necessary for such drone deliveries services can justify the lifesaving benefits to patients. However, it does seem that drone delivery of automated defibrillator devices could be an efficient way of delivering emergency medical treatment in rural areas.
The Indiana medical malpractice lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson & Kennedy, LLP represent persons who have suffered injuries as a result of medical negligence across Indiana and are ready to talk with you and your family about how they can help you. Contact our office to speak to someone who can help. Call today.