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LO19: AED on the fly: A drone delivery feasibility study for rural and remote out-of-hospital cardiac arrest

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 May 2020

I. Drennan
Affiliation:
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
S. Cheskes
Affiliation:
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
P. Snobelen
Affiliation:
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
M. Nolan
Affiliation:
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
T. Chan
Affiliation:
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
S. McLeod
Affiliation:
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
K. Dainty
Affiliation:
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
C. Vaillancourt
Affiliation:
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
S. Brooks
Affiliation:
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON

Abstract

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Introduction: Time-to-treatment plays a pivotal role in survival from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Every minute delay in defibrillation results in a 7-10% reduction in survival. This is particularly problematic in rural and remote regions, where bystander and EMS response is often prolonged and automated external defibrillators (AED) are often not available. Our objective was to examine the feasibility of a novel AED drone delivery method for rural and remote SCA. A secondary objective was to compare times between AED drone delivery and ambulance response to various mock SCA resuscitations. Methods: We conducted 6 simulations in two different rural communities in southern Ontario. During phase 1 (4 simulations) a “mock” call was placed to 911 and a single AED drone and an ambulance were simultaneously dispatched from the same location to a pre-determined destination. Once on scene, trained first responders retrieved the AED from the drone and initiated resuscitative efforts on a manikin. The second phase (2 scenarios) were done in a similar manner save for the drone being dispatched from a regionally optimized location for drone response. Results: Phase 1: The distance from dispatch location to scene varied from 6.6 km to 8.8 km. Mean (SD) response time from 911 call to scene arrival was 11.2 (+/- 1.0) minutes for EMS compared to 8.1 (+/- 0.1) for AED drone delivery. In all four simulations, the AED drone arrived before EMS, ranging from 2.1 to 4.4 minutes faster. The mean time for trained responders to retrieve the AED and apply it to the manikin was 35 (+/- 5) sec. No difficulties were encountered in drone activation by dispatch, drone lift off, landing or removal of the AED from the drone by responders. Phase 2: The ambulance response distance was 20km compared to 9km for the drone. Drones were faster to arrival at the scene by 7 minutes and 8 minutes with AED application 6 and 7 minutes prior to ambulance respectively. Conclusion: This implementation study suggests AED drone delivery is feasible with improvements in response time during a simulated SCA scenario. These results suggest the potential for AED drone delivery to decrease time to first defibrillation in rural and remote communities. Further research is required to determine the appropriate distance for drone delivery of an AED in an integrated EMS system as well as optimal strategies to simplify bystander application of a drone delivered AED.

Type
Oral Presentations
Copyright
Copyright © Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians 2020
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LO19: AED on the fly: A drone delivery feasibility study for rural and remote out-of-hospital cardiac arrest
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