611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

member support line
M-F 5pm-8pm
24/7 weekends/holidays

AzCH Nurse Assist Line


611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

AzCH Nurse Assist Line


powered by centersite dot net
Health Policy & Advocacy
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
Crowdsourcing Raises Billions for Families Hit Hard by Medical BillsBiden Says He Will Release All Vaccine Doses After Taking Office1 in 4 Doctors Harassed Online, Study FindsMoves, Evictions Often Trigger Harmful Breaks in Health Care: StudySome Americans Can't Access Telemedicine, Study ShowsHealth Care After COVID: The Rise of TelemedicineNeurologists Much Tougher to Find in Rural AmericaAs Testing Costs Rise, Neurology Patients May Skip Screening1 in 7 Studies in Nutrition Journals Have Food Industry TiesUSPS Cuts Could Pose Harm If Mail-Order Meds Delayed: Study329 Americans Are Injured by Guns Every Day: StudySome Talc Products Contain Asbestos: StudyAHA News: Why People Fear Performing CPR on Women – and What to Do About It'Green Prescriptions' May Backfire for SomePreventive Health Care Falls by Wayside During PandemicSmoking Bans Don't Work If Not Enforced, NYC Study FindsTelemedicine Out of Reach for Those Who Can't Get OnlineLies Spread on Social Media May Mean Fewer Vaccinations1 in 3 Americans Prescribed Inappropriate DrugsColon Cancer Screening Should Start at Age 45: Task ForceWhat Will It Take for People to Embrace a COVID Vaccine?What Will Convince Americans to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine?CDC Recommends Face Masks in All Public Transportation SettingsInsured Patients Are Getting Surprise Bills After ColonoscopiesBogus 'Cure' Claims Have U.S. Consumers Snapping Up CBD ProductsPediatricians' Group Tackles Racism in Health CareAs Virtual Doctor Visits Spike, Concerns About Equity, Missed Diagnoses GrowWas FDA Lax in Approving Opioids Too Easily?Allowing More Gay Men to Donate Corneas Could Save Sight for Thousands: StudyAccuracy of COVID-19 Antibody Tests Varies Widely, Study FindsSevere Mental Illnesses Often Overlooked at Hospital Admission: StudyCould Drones Delivering Defibrillators Save Lives?Statins Going Generic Saved Medicare BillionsAHA News: Looming Wave of Evictions, Housing Instability Pose Threat to HealthAHA News: Health Apps Pose Privacy Risks, But Experts Offer This AdviceCould You Save a Life After Mass Violence? Most Americans Say NoGun Violence Costs U.S. Health Care System $170 Billion AnnuallyWith COVID Vaccine in Works, 1 in 5 Americans Doesn't Believe in ShotsTelehealth Skyrocketing Among Older AdultsPharmacists in All U.S. States Can Give Kids Childhood ShotsAHA News: COVID-19's Economic Fallout Expands Food Insecurity, as Groups Scramble to HelpCOVID-19 Clinical Trials Lack Diversity, Researchers SayLook Beyond Fossil Fuels to Curb Air PollutionTelemedicine Is Here: Experts Offer Tips for SeniorsMany Older Adults Can't Connect With Telehealth: StudyAHA News: High-Speed Internet Offers Key Connection to Health, But Millions Lack It11 States Could Face ICU Doc Shortages as Coronavirus Cases SurgeWill the Telemedicine Boom Outlast the Pandemic?Yet Another Study Finds Vaccines Are SafeIn Rush to Publish, Most COVID-19 Research Isn't Reliable, Experts Say
Questions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Health Insurance

Could Drones Delivering Defibrillators Save Lives?

HealthDay News
by By Cara Roberts MurezHealthDay Reporter
Updated: Sep 16th 2020

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The answer to saving lives from cardiac arrest someday could include sending drones to the rescue.

A recent randomized trial tested whether delivering an automated external defibrillator (AED) by drone would be faster than an ambulance and more accessible for bystanders than looking for AEDs in nearby buildings.

About 350,000 people experience out-of-hospital cardiac arrest each year in the United States, according to the study. Only 10% survive. Though their chance of survival doubles when a bystander administers CPR and defibrillation, bystanders use an AED in only 2% of cardiac arrests.

"They really need to be defibrillated within less than five minutes because every minute that goes by, your chances of survival decrease dramatically," said study co-author Dr. Wayne Rosamond. He's a professor of epidemiology in the Global School of Public Health at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

But the average ambulance arrival according to nationwide statistics is eight minutes and in remote areas possibly 30 minutes, the study said.

"With the development of drone technology, which you read about all the time nowadays, we thought it seemed like a really great application of technology to our public health problem," said Rosamond.

Some European countries have had great success in saturating their communities with AEDs. And in the past two decades, an effort has been made to increase the number of AEDs in U.S. communities, Rosamond said.

"The problem in this country, even though we've increased the number of AEDs, they just aren't used very often. People either don't know where they are or they're afraid to look for one or they're hesitant to try to access one," Rosamond said. "They may be out there, but their utilization is very low."

The randomized trial used GPS technology to deliver AEDs by drone 35 times to five locations on the University of North Carolina campus. The researchers wanted some control of the environment, but in a real-world setting with buildings, power lines, trees and people. Each location presented different conditions and availability of on-the-ground AEDs. Participants were students, staff and faculty.

"The drone successfully found the 'victim' and then landed within 5 feet every time without incident," Rosamond said. "What did matter is that relative to someone running around trying to find an AED on their own, it did make a difference in which got there faster. In most cases, the drone got there faster."

The exception were the tests near the student union, where bystanders found AEDs before the drone AED could arrive, according to Rosamond.

Dr. Ryan Stanton is a spokesperson for the American College of Emergency Physicians. He said he could understand how the technology would be helpful in certain situations, but he sees drone AED delivery as more effective in niche applications than for wide usage.

"I think there are settings where that could be huge. I think potentially in more remote settings, more isolated settings, or even in very congested settings, let's just say rush hour in downtown New York City, where you're having trouble getting folks through," said Stanton, an emergency medicine physician with Central Emergency Physicians in Lexington, Ky.

"For the vast majority of the country, I'm not sure that it's going to be [effective]", Stanton added. "I think it's better to plan and have AEDs in access points where they're close to people already."

The key to increasing overall AED usage would be to ensure they're in well-traveled and obvious locations, Stanton said.

In addition, they need to be reliable. Many AEDs have been in place so long they may need maintenance, Stanton said. He suggested using wireless communication for maintenance notifications.

"We have to make sure that if it's going to be there, that it's going to be ready to work if people need it," Stanton said.

Drone technology is already used for other medical transport, including delivering tissue samples from a hospital to a lab. They're also used to fly vaccines and blood products to rural, hard-to-reach villages in other countries, Rosamond said.

Further studies would need to test other scenarios, including delivery in rural locations, Rosamond said.

"Our goal is to learn from what we did and then hopefully integrate this technology into the real world in existing EMS systems and move it to other parts of the country," Rosamond said.

The study was published Sept. 17 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

More information

There's more on using an AED at the American Red Cross.