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Surgery in space

With renewed public interest in manned space exploration comes the potential need to diagnose and treat medical issues encountered by future space travellers.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018 12:01 am EDT
"I became interested in the practical aspects of performing surgery in space. My literature search revealed that potential pathology and trauma situations would differ from those on earth due to specific physiological adaptations to the extraterrestrial environment."

With renewed public interest in manned space exploration comes the potential need to diagnose and treat medical issues encountered by future space travellers. A new BJS (British Journal of Surgery) review explores current understanding of human physiology, pathology, trauma and surgery in space.

Known physiological alterations during space travel include fluid redistribution, cardiovascular changes, and bone and muscle atrophy. In addition to common illnesses and conditions, space travellers may also develop novel pathologies that could arise from prolonged weightlessness, exposure to cosmic radiation, and trauma.

The authors note that the extreme environment of space produces several unique changes in human physiology that future practitioners of space-surgery must take into consideration.

 “Manned space exploration has re-entered the public consciousness thanks to endeavours by SpaceX and Virgin Galactic, amongst others,” said lead author Dr. Sandip Panesar, of the University of Pittsburgh. “I became interested in the practical aspects of performing surgery in space. My literature search revealed that potential pathology and trauma situations would differ from those on earth due to specific physiological adaptations to the extraterrestrial environment.”


Additional Information

Link to Studyhttps://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/bjs.10908

About Journal

BJS is published on behalf of the BJS Society Ltd by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. The Journal’s influence and standing has grown over the years through the ownership of its registered charity, the BJS Society. The Society’s objectives are to advance and improve education in surgery and to diffuse knowledge on new and improved methods of teaching and practising surgery in all its branches. It does this primarily through the promotion of the Journal but it has also developed strategic European partnerships. The BJS Council of Management is drawn mainly from these partner surgical associations whose relationship has increased the Journal profile and broadened its attraction globally. The Council is proud of the quality of the journal, the content of which is further enhanced by a hands-on approach by its editorial team in improving submitted manuscripts and the journal content.

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Contact:

Penny Smith
+44 (0) 1243 770448
sciencenewsroom@wiley.com

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