Date
18 November 2017
Volunteers demonstrate the drone rapid response concept. The drone is expected to greatly increase the survival rate of trauma victims. Photo: CNET
Volunteers demonstrate the drone rapid response concept. The drone is expected to greatly increase the survival rate of trauma victims. Photo: CNET

How this drone delivers when life is in the balance

Mere seconds could be a matter of life and death, so an engineering graduate at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands decided there’s no time to lose.

Alec Momont has created a rapid response drone to do what an ambulance can’t.

It can fly at speeds of up to 100 kilometers per hour, carrying a defibrillator and equipped with features that could reduce the time before a heart attack victim receives first aid, greatly increasing the chances of recovery, according to tech news website CNET.

“It is essential that the right medical care is provided within the first few minutes of a cardiac arrest,” Momont said.

“If we can get to an emergency scene faster, we can save many lives and facilitate the recovery of many patients.”

The concept especially applies to emergencies such as heart failure, drownings, traumas and respiratory problems.

It has become possible because life-saving technologies, such as a defibrillator, can now be designed small enough to be transported by a drone, Momont said.

The prototype drone is designed to be deployed when emergency services receive a cardiac arrest call.

Unconstrained by traffic and roads, the drone, in theory, could arrive at the scene faster than an ambulance.

Because it cannot transport paramedics, it is equipped with the next best thing: livestream audio and video connection that will allow medical professionals to deliver instructions to people at the site.

Only 20 percent of untrained people are able to use a defibrillator with any success but with an emergency technician issuing instructions via webcam, this could be increased to 90 percent, Momont said.

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