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279 Drone-delivered automated external defibrillators for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. a scoping review
  1. LK Jakobsen1,2,
  2. JS Kjoelbye1,2,
  3. MT Gregers1,2,
  4. AJ Jørgensen1,2,
  5. L Andelius1,3,
  6. NB Christensen1,
  7. AR Kragh1,2,
  8. KB Ringgren4,
  9. CM Hansen1,5,
  10. F Folke1,2,6
  1. 1Copenhagen Emergency Medical Services, Copenhagen, Denmark
  2. 2Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  3. 3Department of Anesthesiology, Herlev University Hospital, Denmark
  4. 4Department of Cardiology, Aalborg University Hospital – Aalborg, Denmark
  5. 5Department of Cardiology, The Heart Centre, Rigshospitalet, Denmark
  6. 6Department of Cardiology, Herlev and Gentofte University Hospital, Denmark


Background Drone-delivery of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is increasingly being investigated for early defibrillation.

To obtain an overview of international status and feasibility, we performed a scoping review of the literature concerning drone-AED delivery.

Method Combining search strings of drone with OHCA OR AED in ‘MESH’ and ‘text-word’ searches and with synonyms, Embase and PubMed was searched on 29th of December 2021. Peer-reviewed articles, abstracts, editorials, and letters published in English language were included.

Results After duplicate removal, title/abstract screening, and full-text review, a total of 23/122 records were included. Included studies were either test-flights with drone-AED or virtual flight models calculating drone-AED coverage in different ways.

Fifteen studies (from Sweden, Canada, USA (Washington, Virginia, North Carolina, and Utah) France, Germany, Northern Ireland, South Korea, and Austria) concerned location and quantity of drone bases in a virtual drone-flight simulation model. All studies estimated an overall time gain to AED on scene compared with standard Emergency Medical Service (EMS) arrival, with varying proportions of OHCAs covered by drone-AED delivery prior to standard EMS.

Seven studies concerned simulation flights, 4 of these included the human-drone interaction. One study delivered AEDs to real-life suspected OHCA with a delivery success rate of 92%.

All these studies found drone-delivery of AEDs feasible.

Conclusion All 23 investigative studies found drone-delivery of AEDs to suspected OHCA feasible and with an overall estimated time gain compared with standard EMS. Only one study described drone-AED delivery to real-life suspected OHCA.

Conflict of interest None.

Funding Novo Nordisk Foundation.

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See: .

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