Drone Rescue

The Center for Resuscitation Science, Karolinska Institute in Solna, Sweden, sent a defibrillator to a heart attack patient by drone.

They began with a pilot study in which they responded to 12 actual alerts. Ambulances were sent in the usual way, but the drones beat the ambulances to the patients in seven cases. In Sweden, it takes an average of 11 minutes for an ambulance to reach a heart attack patient. That can be too late — in fact, only 10 percent of people who have a heart attack outside the hospital survive.

None of the defibrillators was actually used before the ambulance arrived, which pointed out a major problem with the idea of using automated delivery of this type of medical equipment. Until they figure out a way to automate the actual use of the equipment, drone delivery is of questionable value.

A lucky chance

Following the pilot study, the Center sent out a defibrillator via drone to another heart attack victim, a man who had a heart attack while shoveling snow. This patient, had the good fortune to have a doctor passing by on his way to work. Seeing the 71 year old man having a heart attack and a drone delivering a defibrillator, this quick-thinking bystander put the machine to use and saved the man’s life.

The doctor knew how to use the defibrillator and also knew CPR. The combination of the two treatments did the trick.

Should the drone get credit for the rescue? Possibly. CPR on its own is not as effective as the two treatments together.

Automation to the rescue!

Automation has done many things to improve the lives of human beings, and the ability to deliver life-saving equipment fast is another potential boon to humanity.

But automation also has limits. Your industrial machines don’t require coffee breaks or indeed any breaks, but they can require maintenance and repair. When your Rexroth drive and control systems need service or support, we can help out — fast. Contact us today and be happy you did tomorrow.

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