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: France raises heat on decision for next Ariane rocket

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

Miranda: An icy moon deformed by tidal heating

10 hours ago

Miranda, a small, icy moon of Uranus, is one of the most visually striking and enigmatic bodies in the solar system. Despite its relatively small size, Miranda appears to have experienced an episode of intense ...

The latest observations of interstellar particles

16 hours ago

With all the news about Voyager 1 leaving the heliosphere and entering interstellar space you might think that the probe is the first spacecraft to detect interstellar particles. That isn't entirely true, ...

User comments : 0