Medical Drone Saves First Heart Attack Patient in Sweden

Drones carrying defibrillators are proving to be a quicker and more efficient way to reach time-sensitive patients.

Roughly 275,000 people suffer heart attacks each year in Europe, and about 70% of them happen at home, without a defibrillator on site. The window for saving a heart attack patient’s life is only 10 minutes, so time is of the essence. According to a recent article from The Verge: no defibrillator, no problem! A drone carrying the life-saving device resuscitated its first patient in Sweden.

The 71-year-old man had a heart attack while shoveling snow, and the drone flew a defibrillator to the site before an ambulance could arrive. Luckily, one of the bystanders was a doctor on his way to work, and he used the AED and provided CPR to save the man’s life. The drone was developed with the Center for Resuscitation Science at the Karolinska Institutet, SOS Alarm, and Region Västra Götaland. In their pilot study, 14 heart attack alerts were eligible for drones. In 12 of those cases, drones were deployed, and seven of them arrived before ambulances.