Chris Hadfield trains for medical emergencies


2012-01-23 - Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Chris Hadfield and his colleagues Roman Romanenko and Tom Marshburn take part in simulated emergencies conducted in an International Space Station (ISS) mock-up at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. They will be a part of Expedition 34/35, a long-duration mission on board the ISS that launches in December 2012. (Credit: Canadian Space Agency)

YouTube video     Chris Hadfield mission website

Chris Hadfield: Sometimes, bad things happen and that’s even true in space.

We can have a medical emergency on board. It can be something very simple, somebody just chocking on their food especially without gravity to put it down or, you know, even a heart attack. We try to choose healthy people, but it’s not unconceivable. So we need to train for medical emergencies.

Chris Hadfield: We’ve done step one, Tom has been giving CPR to no pulse and the AED just gave second shock and still no pulse.

Machine: Stand clear.

Chris: Stand clear!

Machine: Analyzing now.

Chris Hadfield: Often an astronaut has a medical background, a medical doctor just like on our crew Tom Marshburn. In addition to that, we train people up to the emergency medical technician level so we can do basic stuff to care for people. And the training that we do in here is to get used to the equipment because we have AEDs, you know, defibrillators. We got oxygen supplies and a bunch of different medications as needed. So we want to get used to all of this equipment and also we want to get used to all the procedures and the decision-making by which you would go through and rescue a crew member that would have suddenly turned ill.

Chris Hadfield: Houston, Station with an update.We’ve had several cycles of AED but it is not administering shocks. The patient is not breathing, no pulse. We’ve administered epinephrine and with the next in block 9, we’ve administered atropine and it looks like there’s a pulse coming now on the AED.

It happens here in the simulator. We hope it never happens in space, but if it does, we’re ready.