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Baltimore Sun: University of Maryland Medical Center transplants first drone-delivered organ

Friday, April 26, 2019

The first-ever organ delivered by drone was transplanted into a patient with kidney failure at the University of Maryland Medical Center, capping more than three years of work to show unmanned aircraft can safely transport life-saving organs and tissue.

The effort began when transplant surgeon Dr. Joseph Scalea, frustrated by slow pace of commercial flights and high cost of charters, began exploring faster means of delivering kidneys, livers and other organs that can quickly deteriorate.

“This new technology has the potential to help widen the donor organ pool and access to transplantation,” Scalea said during a news conference announcing the successful demonstration. “Delivering an organ from a donor to a patient is a sacred duty with many moving parts. It is critical that we find ways of doing this better.”

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