Tuesday, April 9, 2024

An autonomous drone helps save the life of a cardiac arrest patient

Drones are not just for aerial photography, surveying, crop spraying, payload carrying, but they can also be used to save your life. At least, that is the case with a 71-year-old man who was suffering a sudden cardiac arrest.

The world-unique achievement took place in Trollhättan, Sweden, in December of 2021, when an Everdrone autonomous drone delivered a defibrillator that helped save the life of the 71-year-old man. The old man was shoveling snow in his driveway when he suffered an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Luckily, doctor Mustafa Ali was driving by when he saw the man collapse on his driveway.

Thanks to the combination of an immediate emergency call, the quick actions of Dr. Mustafa Ali, and the swift delivery of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), lifesaving measures through defibrillation could be initiated before the arrival of the ambulance, and his life was saved.

“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,” says Dr. Ali. “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 drone maker says it took just over three minutes from the alarm being raised until the AED was safely delivered to the doorstep of the incident address. After the initial treatment on-site, the patient was rushed to the hospital and is now fully recovered.

“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,” says the 71-year-old patient who has made a full recovery and now has been able to return to his home.

The autonomous drone delivery system in Region Västra Götaland is developed and operated by Everyone. The solution has been developed and is continuously improved in close collaboration with the Center for Resuscitation Science at Karolinska Institutet, SOS Alarm, and Region Västra Götaland. The operations are also supported by Vinnova, Swelife, and Medtech4Health.

Currently, the service can reach 200,000 residents in Sweden and is expected to expand to more locations in Europe this year.