Emergencies and disaster situations require a rapid and timely delivery of blood, both because of the patients in need and because blood comes with an expiration date. Various blood components like platelets and plasma expire in less than a week after being donated, and red blood cells last up to six weeks in storage.
Small ailments can quickly turn into bigger problems in remote areas if they’re not treated in time. Rural hospitals and disaster relief camps can face the problem of a shortage of drugs and blood products. Courier services not only take lots of time, they may not be able to reach their destination in case roads are not passable.
As per researchers from the Mayo Clinic, drones can rule out this problem by transporting blood supplies wherever required by carrying the supplies on routes that transport vehicles simply can’t take.
However, all the risks need to be carefully reviewed. Coolers need to keep blood products at the proper temperature, proper packaging needs to be ensured to avoid accidental exposure, and methods to prevent tampering during transit must be instituted.