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Going too Remote – Telemedicine in Space

Recently, an astronaut experienced clotting – a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Aboard, the ISS, he needed help with the clot in the jugular vein of the neck. And, Dr. Stephan Moll, happened to be the best option available. There was just one problem – Dr. Moll and the astronaut were miles apart. It is noteworthy that the details of the astronaut are private for privacy reasons. But, he was 2 months into the project, which is a 6 months deal overall. Details as to when and how are again, private.

To solve the long-distance challenge, NASA asked Dr. Moll to come up to the ISS (International Space Station). But, time is of the essence and reaching ISS in good time did not look possible. So, instead, he sat at Chapel Hill and evaluated the condition through telemedicine.

Noteworthy here is the fact that this is a one of case, which happened for the first time in the history of space excursions. As a result, no one knew what to. One reason that complicates situations in space is the lack of gravity. Since, Dr. Mall is an expert in the field; he seemed like the right choice.

More about DVT

Without proper attention, DVT increases in size and moves, sometimes, to organs like lungs. So, doctors ensure patients take thinner for blood for three months. And, if patients need help, they take to emergency rooms, which are missing in space.

The danger is simple. When on thinners, blood clotting is difficult and internal bleeding can kill. Thus, weighing of options the right way gets critical. However, another issue is that medical supplies are limited in space. But, thanks to availability of Enoxaparin, situation for the astronaut improved. And, Dr. Moll could prescribe dosage.

This is a major leap in terms of healthcare in space and telemedicine.

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