NC TraCS Institute logo

UNC and NC State collaborate to help heart attack victims

Researchers from UNC and NC State hope drones will soon be able to help save lives by delivering an AED defibrillator to a victim suffering from a heart attack. The idea is to equip first responders to help reduce response time for cardiac arrest victims, particularly those living in rural communities.

The research team is still gathering data, but hopes to soon conduct tests in real life scenarios. This is an exciting, ongoing project that got partial funding from a TraCS/NC State Collaborative Grant.


From spectrumlocalnews.com

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Researchers from UNC and NC State hope drones will soon be able to help save lives.

  • During flight tests Tuesday, they wanted to see how quickly a drone could deliver an AED defibrillator to a victim, suffering from a heart attack.
  • The idea is to equip first responders to help reduce response time for cardiac arrest victims, particularly those living in rural communities.
  • Researchers have to work with the weather and amid concerns people have about devices flying over their heads.

They conducted flight tests in Chapel Hill Tuesday. They wanted to see how quickly a drone could deliver an AED defibrillator to a victim, suffering from a heart attack. The scenario was only a drill.

"So we're measuring how long it takes from the time a victim has a heart attack to deliver an AED by drone and we're also timing how long it takes someone to find an AED somewhere in the environment," said UNC professor Wayne Rosamond.

The drone operator programmed the landing points, and the aircraft arrived on scene in less than five minutes.

“It's pretty accurate. It lands in maybe a 10 foot bubble. Ten-foot circle,” said drone operator and NC State researcher Evan Arnold.

The idea is to equip first responders to help reduce response time for cardiac arrest victims, particularly those living in rural communities where it could take an ambulance a little longer to reach the scene.

But there are challenges. Researchers have to work with the weather and amid concerns people have about devices flying over their heads.

“We're interviewing participants to gain better knowledge and understanding about that point exactly,” said UNC assistant professor Jessica Zegre-Hemsey.

Researchers say they need to gather more data. But they hope to soon test the procedure in real life scenarios.

“Over 350,000 people in the U.S. have a sudden cardiac arrest but than less than 2 percent of those involve an AED and we're trying to find a solution to that problem,” said Rosamond.

For more information, click here.


logos
Know any news related to Translational & Clinical Research?
Share a Story

Media Contact:

Michelle Maclay, Communications Director