Drone delivers lungs for transplant to Toronto hospital in world 1st, health network says
Unmanned drone journey lasted 6 minutes, from Toronto Western Hospital to Toronto General Hospital
University Health Network and Unither Bioelectronique say they have completed the world's first transplant of lungs delivered by an unmanned drone.
The Toronto health-care group and Bromont, Que., bioengineering company say the drone carrying the lungs travelled from Toronto Western Hospital to Toronto General Hospital on Sept. 25.
The journey lasted six minutes and was completed around 1 a.m. local time.
UHN surgeon-in-chief Dr. Shaf Keshavjee says the recipient, Alain Hodak, 63, is an engineer with an interest in drones and his transplant went well.
Unither Bioelectronique said it chose Toronto General Hospital to be part of the historic moment because it completed the world's first lung transplant in 1983 and the first double lung transplant in 1986.
The lung delivery comes as tech companies are racing to courier organs by drone after some U.S. firms made successful flights with kidneys, corneas and a pancreas.
WATCH | CBC's The National talks to the patient who received lungs by drone and the surgeon who made it happen: