Project: Drones for Triage in Medical Emergencies
Why this project?
In emergency and disaster medicine, one of the great challenges that health professionals must face is how to prioritize the teams available. The aim is to ensure the greatest good for the greatest number of people. In such chaotic situations, the number of victims that need care are often larger than medical teams available. This forces emergency medical services to change their usual way of working, having to use specific procedures to manage, organize and prioritize the assistance of such a high number of injured people.
One of these procedures is known as triage. Triage is a French word that means to sort, to classify. In the medical emergency field it is used to refer to the procedure that allow classificate the degree of severity of the patients in mass casualty events. In this type of situations, triage is a very valuable tool for health professionals, since it allows identifying those patients who are in a more serious situation to apply over them, the few human and material resources existing in the place.
There are many triage systems that help us in the making-decision process (START, SIEVE, SHORT, SALT, …). But, all these systems have something in common: the emergency professional staff need to be on the ground, in direct contact with the victims.
Complex emergencies (nuclear, radiological, biological, chemical, terrorist attacks, active shooters, suicide bombs) or in areas of difficult access, the application of Triage is challenging since medical teams can be exposed to threats. This delays their arrival and obstruct their work, which can be life-threatening for the victims.
Unmanned Aircrafts (drones) can be very useful in this environment. Its rapid deployment and the zero exposure of personnel to the hostile environment, allows first responders to have essential information about the accident, even before their arrival to the place. In addition, it also allows a remote assessment of casualty number, the patient’s condition and severity of injuries. For example, victims with severe bleeding wounds. Moreover, the latest technology releases, like speakers, allow a proactive interaction of Unmanned Aircrafts in the Triage process. It creates an oral communication channel between patient and healthcare staff remotely without exposing first responders to risk and reducing the response time.
Within this context, this project is a collaboration between professional from Emergency Medical Drone and the research group CuiDsalud from the Univrsity of Jaén.
The objetives for this initial stage are:
The member of the team are:
The project is developed in three phases: