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From floating guts to ‘sticky’ blood — here’s how to do surgery in space

Dinu das

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Earlier this yr, it was reported that an astronaut in house had developed a doubtlessly life-threatening blood clot within the neck. This was efficiently handled with treatment by docs on Earth, avoiding surgical procedure. However provided that house companies and personal spaceflight firms have dedicated to landing humans on Mars within the coming a long time, we will not be so fortunate subsequent time.

Surgical emergencies are in actual fact one of many most important challenges with regards to human house journey. However over the previous few years, house medication researchers have provide you with quite a lot of concepts that would assist, from surgical robots to 3D printers.

Mars is a whopping 54.6 million kilometers (33.9 million miles) away from Earth, when closest. As compared, the Worldwide Area Company (ISS) orbits simply 400 kilometers above Earth. For surgical emergencies on the ISS, the process is to stabilize the affected person and transport them again to Earth, aided by telecommunication in actual time. This gained’t work on Mars missions, the place evacuation would take months or years, and there could also be a latency in communications of over twenty minutes.

In addition to distance, the acute setting confronted throughout transit to and on Mars consists of microgravity, excessive radiation ranges and an enclosed pressurized cabin or swimsuit. That is powerful on astronauts’ our bodies and takes time getting used to.

We already know that house journey changes astronauts’ cells, blood stress regulation and coronary heart efficiency. It additionally impacts the physique’s fluid distribution and weakens its bones and muscles. Area vacationers can also extra simply develop infections. So when it comes to health for surgical procedure, an injured or unwell astronaut will probably be already at a physiological drawback.