Thursday, June 29, 2017

Drones to the rescue

Here it comes--CLEAR!!!
The American Heart Association estimates that in 2016, more than 350,000 people in the US went into cardiac arrest away from a hospital. Only 12% survived long enough to be treated in a hospital and released.

Clearly, the sources of a heart-restarting electric shock need to be brought closer to those whose heart has stopped.

If the shock can come within one minute, the chance of survival is 90%. But if it takes 10 minutes, the chance of survival is only 5%.

These days, malls, airports, schools, and other venues have an external defibrillator available.

If the patient is unlucky, the machine must come to him or her--usually via ambulance.

But what if a drone could zip it over?

Sound wacky--well, they are testing this at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

The drone weighs 12.5 lbs and flies at 47 miles per hour.  It is painted with fluorescent paint and has LED lights on it so people can find it fast.

In the tests, the drone beats the ambulance 93% of the time. (They tested this in the field, stationing the drone at a fire state outside Stockholm and sending it off for cardiac arrests between 2006 and 2014.)

The drone saved around 16 minutes, which could be clinically significant.

Anyhow, the results were promising enough that the work continues.

Still sounds a little shaky to me, but if your heart stops, you would want to try anything.

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