Toronto

Drone delivers lungs for transplant to Toronto hospital in world 1st, health network says

University Health Network and Unither Bioelectronique say they have completed the world's first transplant of lungs delivered by an unmanned drone.

Unmanned drone journey lasted 6 minutes, from Toronto Western Hospital to Toronto General Hospital

An unmanned drone, shown in this undated handout image, makes a practice flight over Toronto as workers looks on. University Health Network and Unither Bioélectronique say they have completed the world’s first lung transplant delivered by an unmanned drone. The Toronto health-care group and Bromont, Que., bioengineering company say the drone carrying lungs travelled from Toronto Western Hospital to Toronto General Hospital on Sept. 25. (Jason van Bruggen/Unither Bioélectronique/The Canadian Press)

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:

Lungs for transplant delivered by drone for 1st time: health network

2 months ago
2:12
Toronto’s University Health Network says it has completed the first double lung transplant where lungs were delivered by drone. 2:12

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now