First drone-delivered organ used for transplant

On April 19, 2019 in the United States, a custom-made drone successfully delivered a kidney to a nearby hospital, where surgeons have performed a successful organ transplant.

The organ was flown 5 kilometers in 10 minutes to deliver a kidney to a patient in critical condition in Baltimore. The transport and organ transplantation were successful. This astounding accomplishment began with surgeon Dr. Joseph R. Scalea, who was frustrated by the slow pace of traditional means of delivering kidneys, livers and other organs. Organs can quickly deteriorate when exposed to a variety of environmental conditions including heat, and some organs have been wasted in past due to ineffective transport.

The usual methods of transport like vehicles, commercial flights or helicopters have many obstacles. Charter and helicopters are expensive and commercial flights are too slow, as are road vehicles such as ambulances. According to certain estimates, using drones could cut travel time for deliveries by up to 70%.

The drone in question is not commercially available and cannot be bought in even the best tech stores. These special drones are custom made and modified to meet all safety criteria. This includes backup propellers and motors to keep the drone airborne in the case of engine failure as well as a parachute recovery system that activates in the case of total system failure, to ensure the safety of the organ being transported. It also includes an advanced communication system to mitigate all the risk to an acceptable minimum.

For the universal use of this transport method we will need more time for the technology to advance with regards to potential security issues, but it is an exciting prospect for the future of organ donation nonetheless.

Drone-based transport lays the foundation for future advanced drone operations and it seems to be only a matter of time before drones play a significant role in organ transport and help save millions of lives all over the world.

Reference: health /bs-hs-organ-delivered-by-drone-20190426-story.html 29/university-of-maryland-medical-center-received-the-first-drone-delivered-organ-used-for-transplant/



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