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This Is How You Deal with Medical Emergency on a Space Station

Update Date: Jan 13, 2016 12:00 PM EST

According to NASA, the medical training prepares its crew members to deal with the most basic medical problems that one is likely to face on ISS, such as motion sickness, back pain, burns, dental emergencies, headaches etc. However, what would they do if they come across a bigger medical emergency? The medical kit provided on ISS is most elementary with a large first aid kit, large manual with helpful information about medical conditions and some useful medical equipment such as a portable ultrasound, defibrillator, two liters of saline and a device that can help one look deep into the eye. Even though the ultrasound device is extremely light weight, it can generate some very clear images of the human body from inside and then relay it back to the medical team on Earth so that they can help with the diagnosis. However, there is no way to fix the problem that is faced by the crew member, reported BBC News

Senior lecturer in aerospace physiology at Kings College in London, Dr. David Green, said that the best way to deal with the situation would be to send the patient back in a Soyuz capsule that is moored at the ISS. "They have limited resources on the ISS but there are no life support facilities on Soyuz either. If it's a good flight back they could experience a g-force of 4g-5g on re-entry into Earth's atmosphere. That's pretty unpleasant for a healthy individual, never mind someone who's critically ill." The fitness levels and health of all the astronauts is very closely monitored before they are launched into the space by a flight surgeon who will look after not just them but also the families before and after their stay of 6-months on the ISS.

However, it is still a possibility of a medical emergency that is far from basic. NASA already has Robonaut 2 on ISS that can perform basic medical procedures while being controlled from earth but it is still far off from carrying out complicated surgery, says BBC News

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