Sep 24, 2018 | Updated: 04:34 PM EDT

Emergency Medical Procedures Not Applicable In Space, Separate Training For Future Space Travelers Required In Survival Scenarios

Jun 05, 2017 02:08 PM EDT

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The discussion of how to perform emergency medical procedures in space is a challenging problem that is on the discussion table at the Euroanaesthesia Congress from June 3 to 5, 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland. Emergency Medicine in space is unlike the application under normal conditions here on Earth. The difficulty of performing such procedures is not the same with the teachings of the human anatomy in the ground.

The planned space expeditions to Mars, for instance, takes years to travel; younger and physically fit candidates are chosen for their physical resistance and adaptation capability when facing space's physical challenges. The physical capacity of these young candidates may be tough to bring down but the long duration of space travel will take its toll in the process, wherein an emergency medical procedure may deem necessary, says Consultant in Intensive Care and Anaesthesia, Dr. Matthieu Komorowski, of Channing Cross Hospital, UK.

Komorowski adds that in the event that a crew member gets sick and would require an emergency medical procedure, a fellow crew member with inferior knowledge on how the procedure should undergo would have no choice but to perform the method. By then, the degree of doing the application may be difficult under space conditions and could cost the life of the sick astronaut.

The exposure to space environment itself poses an imminent danger to the crew member as it disrupts the normalcy of physiological conditions triggering involuntary illnesses that usually occurs in space. Space-specific conditions like acute radiation syndrome, hypobaric decompression sickness, cardiovascular deconditioning, and osteoporotic fractures, reports Medical Express.

Komorowski strongly suggests that crew members will have multitasks and all candidates should have adequate training in the application of emergency medical procedures in space for the safety of the crew. A worst case scenario is when the doctor of the expedition falls ill or has to be given treatment and the rest of the staff did not have the training for such situation, the expedition could be put in jeopardy, reports Eurekalert.

An emergency medical procedure like the CPR, for instance, is a difficult task in a microgravity environment. At the Geneva Congress, Executive Senior Physician, Dr. Jochen Hinkelbein of the Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, University Hospital of Cologne, Germany, will discuss the challenging topic of CPR and other medical applications in space conditions.

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