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: DNA survives critical entry into Earth's atmosphere

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

DNA survives critical entry into Earth's atmosphere

15 hours ago

The genetic material DNA can survive a flight through space and re-entry into the earth's atmosphere—and still pass on genetic information. A team of scientists from UZH obtained these astonishing results ...

Team develops cognitive test battery for spaceflight

16 hours ago

Space is one of the most demanding and unforgiving environments. Human exploration of space requires astronauts to maintain consistently high levels of cognitive performance to ensure mission safety and success, and prevent ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.