Cardiac & Resuscitation, News, Training

Ambulance Drones May Come Take Flight Soon

Issue 1 and Volume 40.

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s … an AED?

Drones may soon lose their negative reputation as destructive and intrusive machines thanks to an engineering student in the Netherlands.
Alec Momont, a grad student at the Delft University of Technology, developed a prototype ambulance drone for his master’s degree project. The model—fitted with a defibrillator, camera, microphone and speakers—has the potential to cut 10-minute EMS response times down to one or two minutes.

Using GPS, the drone can be flown to the scene by a paramedic where they would instruct bystanders how to provide care to the victim before their arrival. The defibrillator would operate on its own once fixed upon the victim’s chest.

According to researchers, a drone response network could increase the chance of cardiac arrest survival from 8% to 80%. Momont believes the devices can be implemented in a multitude of emergency situations.

“If we can get to an emergency scene faster we can save many lives and facilitate the recovery of many patients. This especially applies to emergencies such as heart failure, drownings, traumas and respiratory problems,” Momont told NDTV.

We give a thumbs up to Momont for utilizing new technologies to improve how we address emergency situations. We hope further refinement of Momont’s project can improve response times and prehospital care.

Off-Duty Guardian Angel

On two separate occasions, an off-duty paramedic was in the right place at the right time. So was the man he helped both times.

EMT Tyler Rosser saved the life of Terry Backman, 67, who suffered a heart attack on two different occasions at the same softball field in Santa Clarita, Calif. Both times, Rosser was at an adjacent field and quick to provide support.

“It was crazy. I’m still in shock about the second time. I just couldn’t believe the outcome—to save his life twice. Twice,” Rosser told the Los Angeles Daily News.

The first instance took place on Aug. 11, 2013, when Backman keeled over on the softball diamond from a full cardiac arrest. Rosser and teammates rushed to Backman’s aid with an automated external defibrillator (AED) and revived him. Six months later on April 13, 2014, Backman suffered another attack en route to first base after hitting a line drive. Rosser and teammates once again provided CPR and an AED to resuscitate him.

Backman has since undergone surgery to have an automatic defibrillator placed in his chest—his cardiologist says he can continue playing if he so choses.

Thumbs up to Rosser for not only being in the right place twice, but for also delivering exceptional care to a fellow ballplayer while off-duty. Like many EMS providers, Rosser demonstrated the value of being prepared to provide care at any time.

Poor Behavior

Firefighters in Arizona are in hot water after a video of their handling of a man went viral across the Web and local news stations.

On Oct. 26, 2014, firefighters from the Glendale Fire Department responded to a call to help 30-year-old James Murillo after reports he was overdosing on prescription medication because he “wanted to sleep.” Firefighters say Murillo became violent within his residence, threw punches at the crew and resisted going to the hospital. Court documents report two firefighters punched Murillo five or six times and were treated for injuries after the altercation. Firefighters subdued Murillo and began to transport him out on a gurney when the situation alarmed bystanders.

In the video shot by a neighbor, firefighters are seen screaming threats at Murillo and his family over the reported hostility within the residence. Neighbors say they never saw any altercation outside Murillo’s home aside from swearing directed at Murillo by firefighters. Murillo’s family denied reports Murillo swung at them in the home and is currently considering civil actions. The investigation is currently ongoing.

We turn a thumb down to the Glendale Fire Department for their handling of Murillo. Although we understand fire crews walk into potentially dangerous encounters unarmed, yelling and threatening at a subdued man on the ground is uncalled for and because what the public has seen thus far is sure to cast a shadow over this agency and potentially other agencies.