A drone that was developed by the Research and Development group at the University of Maryland Medical Centre reportedly carried a kidney to surgeons at the medical center for a transplant operation on April 19, 2019. This kidney was used in a transplant operation on a 44-year-old woman from Baltimore. The drone was used to carry the kidney for a distance of 5 km, and it delivered the organ within an impressive 10 minutes. It monitored the vitals of the organ continuously and kept sending updates to the control personnel throughout its flight. This has become the first ever organ delivery attempted using a drone.
Why faster organ deliveries are crucial?
Organ transplants are making several people regain their lives today. Many have become aware of the importance of organ donation. However, time plays a highly crucial role in organ transplant. Doctors have reported that by the time organs are brought from the donors to the receivers, the organs rot and become unusable. It is a known fact that once the organ is removed from its host body, it deteriorates with every passing second. There are also several patients who are kept on the waiting list for the reception of organs from their donors. Reports say that thousands of patients waiting for a transplant die owing to unavailability of good and functional organs at the right time. Thus, it is very important that the organs are carried to the recipient patients as fast as possible after they are removed from their donors.
Need of drones for organ delivery
Drones can carry the organs to the surgeons in a much faster time especially when compared to transport via roads. The terrain might not be safe enough to carry an organ without actually accelerating its decay. On the other hand, while organ delivery by commercial or private airplanes is still possible, it is pretty expensive and not all patients who require transplants can afford this. Using drones to deliver organs, while simultaneously monitoring the organ’s health during transit might be the most cost-efficient method in ensuring safe transplant operations. Using drones can also increase the number of fully operational organs being delivered thus it will also help the patients on the waiting list to renew their lives.
Most doctors are now seeing this as a crucial development in the world of transplant operations. Drones will soon be used to deliver organs over larger distances and amazingly faster speeds.