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Cardiac arrest during space missions: Specificities and challenges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Jochen Hinkelbein, Thais Russomano, Franziska Hinkelbein, Matthieu Komorowski

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-12
JournalTrends in Anaesthesia and Critical Care
Early online date8 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


King's Authors


Travelling to the stars is a dream nearly as old as mankind itself. Nowadays, spaceflight is in many ways common business, becoming even accessible to space tourists. However, many problems remain to be solved before humanity can venture into deep space with an acceptable level of risk, and medical preparedness is one of them. The management of any severe medical emergency will be extremely challenging in this extreme environment, with limited resources in crew and equipment. Here, we discuss the case of a cardiac arrest occurring during spaceflight, and present challenges around the recognition, immediate management including delivering cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and secondary measures such as organ support or evacuation. Given the current treatment capabilities in space, the survivability of cardiac arrest is expected to be lower than on the ground.

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