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Initial trial on the transport of blood products using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in Japan in preparation for a disaster

Hematology & Transfusion International Journal
Koki Yakushiji,1 Fumiatsu Yakushiji,2 Hiroshi Fujita3


Objective: We determined to examine the effects of transport by unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) on quality of red blood cell solution.

Materials and methods: Two bags of RBC solution (RBC#1 and #2; 1 bag: 280 mL) were supplied from Japan Red Cross Society. RBC solution was separated into two bags (1 bag: 140 mL). UAV group implies the RBC solution in an ATR (FUJIFILM Toyama Chemical Co. Ltd., Tokyo) transported by UAV. Control group implies the RBC solution in another ATR, not flown. In sampling from RBC solution at day 11 (four days before transport), day 16 (day after transport), lactate dehydrogenase (LD), potassium, blood sugar, lactic acid, and pH were measured.

Results:We compared the biochemistry between UAV and the control group and observed no significant differences. Although the lactate dehydrogenase (LD) level in the UAV group slightly increased, the LD level post-filtration was very similar between the UAV and control groups.

Conclusion:In conclusion, we could fly and transport the ATR containing an RBC solution using a UAV, and the transport by UAV did not significantly affect the quality of the RBC solution


blood products, red blood cell, Toyama, lactate dehydrogenase, flooding