A Drone Just Delivered A Life-Saving Kidney To A Patient In Maryland

It was a historic moment and a technological breakthrough.

For the first time ever, a drone successfully delivered a much-needed kidney to a U.S. hospital.

The news makes what was once a fantasy a new reality: unmanned aircrafts delivering much-needed medical supplies to those in perilous, life-threatening situations. According to the University of Maryland, whose Schools of Medicine and Engineering orchestrated the flight, the operation required a drone that could maintain and monitor the kidney. 


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Trina Glipsy, the 44-year-old patient who received the kidney in a successful transplant earlier this week, expressed her gratitude. 

"This whole thing is amazing," she said in a University of Maryland press release. "Years ago, this was not something that you would think about."

Since 2014,  University of Maryland researchers at the School of Medicine have been working with the Federal Aviation Administration to develop drones that could handle sensitive medical material like viable kidneys. After the successful delivery, the doctors and engineers involved are hopeful they can speed up organ delivery times and vastly expand the number of people receiving life-saving organs.

"As astonishing as this breakthrough is from a purely engineering point of view, there's a larger purpose at stake," Darryll J. Pines, Ph.D., the dean of the Maryland School of Engineering, said in a press release. "It's ultimately not about the technology; it's about enhancing human life."

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