Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Medical lessons from the space program

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From my 1989 book review in the British Medical Journal "Spock the Difference"

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1837902/pdf/bmj00255-0061b.pdf

re: Survival in Space: Medical Problems of Manned Spaceflight. R. Harding. (Pp xix+227; figs; £14.95.) London: Routledge, 1989.ISBN 0-415-00253-2
 
Astronauts choice of the most useful drugs in space:
 
1. Painkillers
2. Sedatives
3. Anti-diarrhoea drugs (I can see why they might be useful in a space suit...)
4. Nasal decongestants (but maybe not used when the anti-diarrhoea pills have run-out)
 
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Major irritations of space travel:
 
1. Cannot wash properly - never feel clean
2. Sense of isolation
3. Lack of movement
4. Boredom
 
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Physiological effects of prolonged space flight include:
 
1. Exaggerated tendon reflexes
2. Poor balance
3. Excessive drop of blood pressure on standing
4. Loss of bone calcium
 
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Abilities gained from a 3-day crash course in medicine and dentistry include:
 
1. Ophthalmoscopy (this took me 3 years)
2. Bladder catheterization (who volunteered to be practised on?)
3. Extracting teeth (!)
4. Inserting temporary fillings (!!)
 
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1 comment:

  1. (Today's) major irritation of space travel:

    1. Inability to connect to the internet and social media.
    2. Poor cell phone service.
    3. Hard to download movies to iPad.

    ReplyDelete