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Research Letter
June 13, 2017

Time to Delivery of an Automated External Defibrillator Using a Drone for Simulated Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrests vs Emergency Medical Services

Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for Resuscitation Science, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
JAMA. 2017;317(22):2332-2334. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.3957

Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) affects approximately 55 of 100 000 inhabitants per year in the United States, with low survival (8%-10%).1 Reducing time to defibrillation is the most important factor for increasing survival in OHCA.2,3

Unmanned aerial systems, commonly called drones, can be activated by a dispatcher and sent to an address provided by a 911 caller. The drone may carry an automated external defibrillator (AED) to the location of an OHCA so that a bystander can detach and use it. Theoretical geographical information system models have shown that drones carrying an AED can reduce response times in rural areas.4,5 However, whether they reduce response times in a real-life situation is unknown. This study compared the time to delivery of an AED using fully autonomous drones for simulated OHCAs vs emergency medical services (EMS).

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