Toronto hospitals, Quebec company behind world’s first delivery of lungs by drone
2021-10-12 from theglobeandmail.com
Dr. Shaf Keshavjee was full of nerves as he scanned Toronto’s darkened skyline, craning his neck to spot a drone whizzing toward the downtown rooftop he was standing on.
The drone was only making a short journey – about six minutes – from Toronto Western Hospital to Toronto General Hospital, but the University Health Network’s surgeon-in-chief knew its cargo would make the trip historic and time was of the essence.
Nestled inside a lightweight, carbon fibre container and suspended from a Unither Bioélectronique drone was a set of lungs destined for Keshavjee’s patient, a male engineer to be operated on that last Saturday in September.
“To see it come over the tall buildings was a very exciting moment,” Keshavjee recalled. “I certainly did breathe a sigh of relief, when it landed and I was able to … see that everything was OK.”
He and Bromont, Que. bioengineering firm Unither Bioélectronique believe the trip was the first time lungs have taken flight using an unmanned drone, but they are convinced the method will become the norm as a race to get organs in the sky heats up.
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