A man in Sweden had his life saved by a drone carrying a defibrillator in what is thought to be a medical first.
The rescue took place on the morning of December 9, 2021, when the 71-year-old man suffered a heart attack while shovelling snow in his driveway in the Swedish city of Trollhättan.
Dr. Mustafa Ali happened to be driving past on his way to work at the local hospital when he spotted the elderly man collapsed in his driveway and ‘immediately understood that something was wrong’.
Recalling the situation to Everdrone, Ali explained that he rushed to the man’s aid and realised that he had no pulse. He started performing CPR and called upon a passerby to call the emergency services.
The doctor continued: ‘Just minutes later, I saw something flying above my head. It was a drone with a defibrillator!’
The defibrillator arrived from Everdrone’s Emergency Medical Aerial Delivery service (EMADE), ‘an innovative link in the chain of life-saving measures of Region Västra Götaland, Sweden’, just over three minutes after the emergency services were contacted.
Ali quickly administered treatment with the defibrillator, after which the 71-year-old was rushed to hospital. Thanks to Ali and the early initiation of the life-saving defibrillator, the elderly man survived the heart attack and has since made a full recovery.
He has been able to return home and said that he ‘can’t put into words how thankful [he is] to this new technology and the speedy delivery of the defibrillator’, adding: ‘If it wasn’t for the drone I probably wouldn’t be here.’
The patient continued: ‘This is a truly revolutionary technology that needs to be implemented all over; sudden cardiac arrests can happen to anyone, not just old people with arteriosclerosis.’
Everdrone, which developed and operates the system, is a world-leading company in autonomous drone solutions. The system has been scientifically established to cut response times for emergency services, and is continuously improved in collaboration with Center for Resuscitation Science at Karolinska Institutet, SOS Alarm and Region Västra Götaland.
Mats Sällström, CEO of Everdrone, described the case last month as an ‘excellent real-world example of how Everdrone’s cutting-edge drone technology, fully integrated with emergency dispatch, can minimize the time for access to life-saving AED (Automated External Defibrillator) equipment’.
According to Everdrone, 275,000 patients in Europe and 350,000 in the US suffer from out-of-hospital cardiac arrests each year. Approximately 70% of these occur in homes without AEDs on site, and the chance of survival decreases by 7–10% with each minute following the collapse.
Everdrone’s AED delivery service can currently reach 200,000 residents in Sweden and is expected to expand to more locations in Europe during 2022.