How to deal with a medical emergency on the Space Station

 

A major medical emergency has never occurred on the International Space Station - but what would happen if it did? And what lessons could be learnt for treating similar emergencies on Earth?

 

When Tim Peake blasted into orbit in December, he knew that the 40 hours of medical training he'd received would prepare him for most health problems during his six-month stay on the International Space Station.

 

In addition to life-saving skills, he had been taught how to stitch a wound, give an injection and even extract a tooth.

According to Nasa, this training would prepare him and his crew members for the most common medical problems faced on the ISS - like motion sickness, headaches, back pain, skin conditions, burns and dental emergencies.

 

But faced with a far more serious medical emergency - what would they do?

 

Limited options

 

The medical kit on the ISS is basic. It contains a first aid kit, a large book of medical conditions and some useful medical equipment including a defibrillator, a portable ultrasound, a device for looking deep into the eye and two litres of saline.

 

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