Welcome to Pedagogy   |   Sign In

Drone Delivers Kidney To Transplant Patient

A drone just flew a kidney to a transplant patient for the first time ever but it won't be the last.

Talk about a special delivery.

In the wee hours of April 19, a custom-made drone roughly the size of a washing machine lifted off from a neighborhood in southwestern Baltimore and whisked a human kidney to a nearby hospital, where a team of surgeons successfully transplanted the organ into a critically ill patient.

The 2.8-mile, 10-minute drone flight was the first in the world to deliver an organ — but it almost certainly won't be the last. Drones, aka unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are now delivering medical supplies in Rwanda and other African nations, as well as in the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu, and experts say organ-delivering medical drones are poised to take off in the United States.

"Organ drones have the potential to improve access to transplants, decrease costs and improve quality," Joseph R. Scalea, a transplant surgeon at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the leader of the team behind the proof-of-concept flight, told NBC News MACH in an email.

The nighttime drone flight followed a three-year collaboration among doctors, researchers, engineers and aviation experts at the university, the University of Maryland Medical Center and the Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland, a Baltimore-based organization that oversees organ procurement in the state.

In an email to NBC News MACH, Robert Graboyes, a senior research fellow at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia, and an expert in medical innovation, called the flight "a stunning achievement."

Of course, the flight represented more than that to Trina Glipsy, 44, of Baltimore, who received the drone-delivered kidney after spending eight years on dialysis. "I feel very fortunate, especially after watching so many people pass being on dialysis," she told the New York Times. "I'm seeing a lot of people die and I'm like, 'It's taking so long, it might not happen for me either."

A matter of seconds

For the best shot at saving lives, organs must be transplanted as quickly as possible after they are removed from donors' bodies. But organs can't be transplanted until they're transported to where they're needed — whether it's across town or across the country. And the usual methods of transporting organs, which include motor vehicles, helicopters and airplanes, have significant limitations.

"Charters are too expensive, commercial aircraft is too slow and small aircraft at inconvenient hours are dangerous to transplant teams," said Scalea, who was also a member of the surgical team that transplanted the kidney at the medical center. Drone delivery could cut the time organs spend in transit by 70 percent, he added.

Experts say that could make a big difference.

"In many circumstances — say, a mother hemorrhaging after childbirth — a few seconds or minutes can mean the difference between life and death," Graboyes said in the email. "Across rugged terrain, traffic-clogged cities, icy roads or flooded regions, a drone may become the quickest and surest way to get medical goods to where they're needed."

Original article by MACH
To read this article in its entirety CLICK HERE.

Pedagogy Education offers online continuing education courses in a variety of ways to meet your education goals and budget.

Courses may be purchased individually, or in packages (a bundle of courses, offered at a 10% (or greater) discount.  Check out our entire catalog of education by clicking on View Entire Catalog.

Memberships are offered to individuals, or to facilities that want to offer their staff access to a library of education for an entire year. We have memberships for nurses with a library of accredited online continuing education courses. We also have memberships for caregivers and nurse aides. Visit our Membership Page to learn more, see prices for individuals, or fill out our request form for facilities wanting to provide staff with our online continuing education.

Pedagogy offers a huge selection of infusion, vascular access and IV education courses, take a look at our Infusion Catalog to view our continuing education courses and many state specific IV Certification courses.  

Check out our other categories of online continuing education courses: Correctional Healthcare, Inservices for Certified Nurse Aides and Caregivers, Infection Prevention and Control, Respiratory Health, Wound Care, and General CNE courses

Ready to register for a course, package, or membership? Start here by creating your account. Remember your email and password as this will be used for future log ins to your account.

Want to receive our emails with notification of new course releases and coupon codes good for discounts on courses? Sign up for our emails here.

We would LOVE to have you join us on our social media pages, follow this link to see where you can find us.

Pedagogy Newsletter
Subscribe to Pedagogy's Quarterly Newsletter


Copyright © 2021 Pedagogy, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by Kentico