Future Astronauts Must Perform Surgery in Space — and It Will Be Gross


An artist’s illustration shows a hypothetical „traumapod“ where space surgery can occur. Here, floating bodily fluids can be safely segregated from the rest of the ship. Credit: S. S. Panesar, et al./T. Trapp/BJS Society/John Wiley & Sons Ltd
There’s already enough to worry about when planning a one-way trip to Mars. Did you pack enough sunblock to deflect the deadly cosmic radiation? Will there be enough water there? What if your assigned procreation partner doesn’t like you? Now, scientists writing in the British Journal of Surgery have provided one more thing to fear: floating blobs of infectious bodily fluids.

By Brandon Specktor | SPACE.com

According to the authors of a new paper published last week (June 19), runaway blood, urine and fecal matter are just some of myriad possible complications of space surgery that likely await future astronauts. In a review of studies called simply „Surgery in space,“ the team of researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and King’s College Hospital in London scoured six decades of scientific literature to compile the most comprehensive (and fascinating) list of those complications yet. [7 Everyday Things That Happen Strangely in Space]

„Future astronauts or colonists will inevitably encounter a range of common pathologies during long‐haul space travel,“ the authors wrote in the new review. „Novel pathologies may [also] arise from prolonged weightlessness, exposure to cosmic radiation, and trauma.“

And right now, at least, humans are woefully unprepared to deal with it.

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