What happens when you get sick in space? – University of Exeter

What happens when you get sick in space? – University of Exeter


Space medicine is a very preventive
occupational medicine speciality and it gives you the chance to be proactive and
reactive to the medical problems that arise associated with spaceflight. My
name is Mike Barrett I’m an medical doctor specializing in space medicine.
When you go into space in the weightlessness in particular your body
undergoes this global change you become an extraterrestrial. Your anatomy changes, your anthropometry changes your bones, muscle, cardiovascular system even your
central nervous system undergoes certain changes that adapt you for a spaceflight
but we really change the way you interpret the body both from the
standpoint of health performance and disease if that happens to pop up there.
Fortunately most these are very minor but space motion sickness is very unique,
very different from terrestrial motion sickness. Sleep disorders are very common because you don’t have the standard circadian cues that you would you have on the ground instead of a proper sunset and sunrise once a day we see that 16
times a day because we’re going around the earth every 90 minutes. So all of
these things are very, very common and then you just worry about the
incidence of background disease. What if somebody decides to get appendicitis
during their six-month mission. It’s amazing how many of these actually can
cool down and nearly resolve with antibiotics. Each ship has a certain
number of seats and the combined number of seats equals the combined number of
crew members, to ensure that everyone always has a way home. You can’t just
bring one person down, we’re going to bring three people down and basically
half de-man the station in doing that. So the overhead of having to return one
person is fairly high but you would do that for a medical emergency like this

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *