Unmanned drone delivers donor kidney for transplant to a patient in a medical first

University of Maryland has taken the phrase 'Fly High' to a new level with its aerial delivery of human organs.

In an unprecedented move, The University of Maryland has used a drone to deliver a kidney to a patient in the University Of Maryland Medical Centre (UMMC).

This was a collaboration between transplant physicians and researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) in Baltimore; aviation and engineering experts at the University of Maryland (UMD); the University of Maryland Medical Centre; and collaborators at the Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland (LLF).

“This major advance in human medicine and transplantation exemplifies two key components of our mission:  innovation and collaboration,” said E. Albert Reece, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, UM Baltimore, and Dean UMSOM.

Unmanned drone delivers donor kidney for transplant to a patient in a medical first

The drone on its way to transportation. Image credit: University of Maryland

The transplant was a success for the 44-year-old woman, who had spent eight years on dialysis. She said, “This whole thing is amazing. Years ago, this was not something that you would think about.”

The Maryland faculty and researchers believe that the use of a drone is a trailblazer in the way organs will be transported. Usually, the main problem in the process of organ transplants is the amount of time it takes for transport, the expense and the hours the organ is viable.

It's also not very well connected with remote areas and hence is a major obstacle. The usage of a drone will hopefully bridge these gaps.

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