A 71-year-old man from Sweden who suffered a heart attack while clearing snow at the end of last year owes his life to the deployment of a DJI Matrice 600 with an automated external defibrillator (AED) on board. It is the first time in worldwide medical history that the delivery of an AED by drone has led to successful resuscitation.
DJI Matrice delivers AED to help save life of 71-year-old man
The incident took place on December 9. The man in question suffered a heart attack while clearing the snow from the driveway of his house, about 75 km north of Stockholm. A passing doctor saw the incident and asked another bystander to call 911 as he began CPR. After just three minutes, a drone arrived and lowered a defibrillator. This allowed the man’s heart to start again, even before the ambulance arrived.
Since 2020, Sweden has been experimenting with the use of AED drones by the startup Everdrone AB. Initially around Stockholm, later also in the Gothenburg region. The aim was to gain precious minutes after a report of a heart attack. After a long-term study, it became clear that a drone can be on location two minutes faster on average than an ambulance. Now, for the first time, a life has actually been saved thanks to the use of an AED drone.
“I cannot express how grateful I am for this new technology and the rapid delivery of the defibrillator,” said the 71-year-old patient, who has since made a full recovery and has returned home. “If it hadn’t been for the drone, I probably wouldn’t be here… This is a truly revolutionary technology that needs to be implemented everywhere; sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, not just old people with arteriosclerosis.”
Also for Dr. Mustafa Ali the experience was very exciting, despite the seriousness of the situation:
“I was on my way to work at the local hospital when I looked out the car window and saw a man collapse in his driveway,” said Dr Ali. “I immediately understood that something was wrong and rushed to help. The man had no pulse, so I started CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) while asking another bystander to call 112 (the Swedish emergency number). Just minutes later I saw something flying overhead. It was a drone with a defibrillator!”
According to Everdrone CEO Mats Sällström, this is the most compelling evidence to date of the speed and efficiency of unmanned aerial vehicles performing social services:
“This is an excellent real-life example of how Everdrone’s advanced drone technology, which is fully integrated into the emergency center, minimize the time to access life-saving AED equipment.”
The drone with which the AED was brought to location is of the DJI Matrice 600 Pro type. The drone is equipped with an Intel RealSense module for obstacle detection. Every mission is planned and monitored from a control room. The flight is also fully automatic. In the event of a battery failure or engine failure, an emergency parachute is automatically ejected.
Read more stories about how drones are being used for good here on DroneXL.
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