Drones to the Rescue

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Credit Bas Czerwinski/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Airborne drones carrying defibrillators could help revive people stricken by cardiac arrests far more quickly than ambulances can, a new study finds.

Swedish researchers found that drones launched from a local fire station arrived within about five minutes at the homes of 18 people who had experienced cardiac arrests — almost 17 minutes faster on average than ambulances.

Heart attacks result from blockages in blood flow to the heart. Cardiac arrests are caused by disturbances in the heart’s electrical rhythm, which impede blood flow or stop the heart altogether.

In the United States, most cardiac arrests happen outside the hospital. The overwhelming majority of these patients do not survive. (A.P.)

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