The medical center of University of Maryland in Washington for the first time in history, made delivering of kidneys needed for transplantation via drone possible.
The development of this revolutionary project, according to experts, could make faster and safer organ transport.
The futuristic high-tech drone is geared with equipment that helps in monitoring the kidney while it is being transported for three miles. University of Maryland also said the drone is unmanned and is powered by Unmanned Aircraft System.
Its first recipient, who had waited for eight years long for the transplant, is a 44-year-old woman from Baltimore.
“This whole thing is amazing. Years ago, this was not something that you would think about,” she said on the unusual and new way of delivering organs.
According to statistics from United Network for Organ Sharing, a US organization that manages organ transplants in the country, during 2018, 114,000 patients are on waiting list. But the more pressing matter were the fact that 1.5 percent of organs could not make it to their destination on time and approximately 4 percent are being delayed by two hours or more.
“Delivering an organ from a donor to a patient is a sacred duty with many moving parts. It is critical that we find ways of doing this better,” said Joseph Scalea, assistant professor of surgery at University of Maryland School of Medicine, and one of the surgeons who performed the transplant.
In case of failure, which the developers hope does not occur, the drone is equipped with a parachute recovery system.
“If we can prove that this works, then we can look at much greater distances of unmanned organ transport,” said Charlie Alexander, chief executive of The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland.