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Resuscitation. 2017 May;114:152-156. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2017.01.003. Epub 2017 Jan 18.

Drones may be used to save lives in out of hospital cardiac arrest due to drowning.

Author information

1
Karolinska Institutet, Department of Medicine, Center for Resuscitation Science, Stockholm, Sweden. Electronic address: Andreas.claesson@ki.se.
2
Karolinska Institutet, Department of Medicine, Center for Resuscitation Science, Stockholm, Sweden.
3
Swedish Maritime Administration, Rescue Helicopter Unit, Göteborg Sweden.
4
Helicopter Emergency Medical Services, Jämtland Härjedalen Region, Sweden.
5
Swedish Lifesaving Society, Surf Lifesaving Club Tylösand, Sweden.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Drowning leading to out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) and death is a major public health concern. Submersion with duration of less than 10min is associated with favorable neurological outcome and nearby bystanders play a considerable role in rescue and resuscitation. Drones can provide a visual overview of an accident scene, their potential as lifesaving tools in drowning has not been evaluated.

AIM:

The aim of this simulation study was to evaluate the efficiency of a drone for providing earlier location of a submerged possible drowning victim in comparison with standard procedure.

METHOD:

This randomized simulation study used a submerged manikin placed in a shallow (<2m) 100×100-m area at Tylösand beach, Sweden. A search party of 14 surf-lifeguards (control) was compared to a drone transmitting video to a tablet (intervention). Time from start to contact with the manikin was the primary endpoint.

RESULTS:

Twenty searches were performed in total, 10 for each group. The median time from start to contact with the manikin was 4:34min (IQR 2:56-7:48) for the search party (control) and 0:47min (IQR 0:38-0:58) for the drone-system (intervention) respectively (p<0.001). The median time saved by using the drone was 3:38min (IQR 2:02-6:38).

CONCLUSION:

A drone transmitting live video to a tablet is feasible, time saving in comparison to traditional search parties and may be used for providing earlier location of submerged victims at a beach. Drone search can possibly contribute to earlier onset of CPR in drowning victims.

KEYWORDS:

Drone; Drowning; OHCA; Search-and-rescue; UAV

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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