Use Drones to Deliver Organs for Transplant? Surgeon Says it Would Save Precious Time

“”I did a transplant where the organ flew 1,500 miles from Alabama on a commercial aircraft and it took 29 hours,” Scalea said. “That’s ridiculous. It could have been here in six. And yet that’s accepted as how we do things.”

Organs don’t last long outside the body, and delays and mistakes mean some lose quality or can’t be transplanted. Scalea is frustrated that the system relies on couriers, commercial airline schedules and costly charter flights arranged by local nonprofit agencies. He cited a recent $80,000 charter to deliver a liver to Baltimore from Texas and an unrelated case in which a heart was accidentally left on a commercial plane flying from Seattle.

That led Scalea to try to jump to the head of a movement already underway to resolve the technical, regulatory and medical hurdles to using drones to shepherd medical supplies such as blood, medicines, and now body parts, anywhere around the country at any time…”