Experts advise doctors on how to clear patients for space travel

Dec 13, 2012

With the prospect of space travel for tourists looming, clinicians could soon be asked to advise on medical clearance for their patients, says a paper published in the BMJ Christmas edition and appearing online today.

Space travel opportunities are becoming increasingly available to the general public with bookings already in place.

A team of experts from North America therefore looked to provide advice to clinicians who require direction when advising patients on space travel.

The Aerospace Medical Association Commercial Working Group did publish a document in 2009 stating that most individuals with "well controlled medical conditions" could withstand the acceleration forces from a of a commercial spaceflight. But the researchers say it is important that patients recognise that space flight could carry risks for those with pre-existing medical conditions.

Loss of appetite, space motion sickness, fatigue, insomnia, dehydration and back pain are already very common in space travel. In addition, the proportion of space travellers who are not as healthy as the original astronauts is increasing, which makes adverse in-flight medical events more likely.

The researchers suggest that clinicians should "consider developing a resource file for future reference", and that the medical documentation arising from previous should be readily available.

Explore further: NASA Webb's heart survives deep freeze test

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Microscopic worms could help open up travel into deep space

Jun 02, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- A space flight by millions of microscopic worms could help us overcome the numerous threats posed to human health by space travel. The Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) have also given experts an insight ...

Recommended for you

NASA Webb's heart survives deep freeze test

3 hours ago

After 116 days of being subjected to extremely frigid temperatures like that in space, the heart of the James Webb Space Telescope, the Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) and its sensitive instruments, ...

MAVEN studies passing comet and its effects

10 hours ago

NASA's newest orbiter at Mars, MAVEN, took precautions to avoid harm from a dust-spewing comet that flew near Mars today and is studying the flyby's effects on the Red Planet's atmosphere.

How to safely enjoy the October 23 partial solar eclipse

10 hours ago

2014 – a year rich in eclipses. The Moon dutifully slid into Earth's shadow in April and October gifting us with two total lunars. Now it's the Sun's turn. This Thursday October 23 skywatchers across much ...

How to grip an asteroid

11 hours ago

For someone like Edward Fouad, a junior at Caltech who has always been interested in robotics and mechanical engineering, it was an ideal project: help develop robotic technology that could one day fly on ...

User comments : 0