The University of Maryland (UM) elevated aviation technology and human medicine to the next level by successfully delivering a donor’s kidney to the surgeons of the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) Baltimore using an unmanned aircraft. The move resulted in a successful transplant to a patient suffering from kidney failure.
The one-mile flight milestone was made possible by the brilliant minds of the UM engineering and aviation experts, Baltimore’s University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) researchers and transplant physicians, and the Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland collaborators.
“This whole thing is amazing. Years ago, this was not something that you would think about,” said the kidney recipient, a 44-year-old Baltimore (USA) resident.
The historic advancement clearly demonstrates the tremendous potential of utilizing an unmanned aircraft system or UAS to provide deliveries of organs, which in most cases, is generally more available, safer, reliable, and faster compared to the traditional way of land transport.
Before the triumphant delivery flight, the Maryland associates worked collectively in developing the UAS and tested it first by transporting materials such as blood tubes and saline successfully. They then tested transporting a nonviable but healthy human kidney.