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The quality of blood dropped from an unmanned aerial vehicle (Drone)

Hematology & Transfusion International Journal
Koki Yakushiji,1Fumiatsu Yakushiji,2,3 Hiroshi Fujita4  

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1.1.  Objective:To evaluate the risk of deterioration in the quality of blood transported by a fixed-wing drone.

1.2.  Materials and methods:Red blood cell(RBC) solutions were categorized into “travel group” (transported by train or car to test place) and “non-travel” group. The travel group was further subcategorized into “dropped,” and “non-dropped” groups. One bag each from the dropped and non-dropped groups were wrapped in an Absorption Sheet (A-Sheet) and an Under Sheet (U-Sheet). RBC solution of dropped group was dropped onto the ground from an altitude of 10 m.Lactate dehydrogenase (LD) levels from the samples of RBC solution were measured and the LD ratio (LDR) was calculated as the rate of increase of the LD which can be compared.We compared the differences in LDR between the dropped and non-dropped groups.

1.3.  Results:In the dropped group, there was an increase in LDR before filtration in the blood wrapped in the A-sheet. No increase was noted in the blood wrapped in the U-sheet. LDR levels after filtration were slightly increased in the blood samples wrapped in the U-sheet and clearly increased in blood samples wrapped in the A-Sheet.

Conclusion:We considered the possibility of blood getting hemolyzed due to a fall and observed that hemolysis was affected by packing. Thus, since it may be difficult to find good packaging for blood, dropped blood may not be safe for transfusion due to the likelihood of hemolysis. Hence, for practical purposes, using a drone without a fixed-wing may be preferable for transportation of blood.


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