Could Drones Delivering Defibrillators Save Lives?

September 16, 2020

Health Day

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.

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