Dr Matthieu Komorowski
Clinical Research Fellow in Intensive Care
PhD student, Dept of Surgery and Cancer & Dept of Bioengineering, Imperial College London
Visiting Scholar, Laboratory of Computational Physiology, Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology
Title: Providing Anesthesia during a Mission to Mars
Significant plans have been drawn by governmental space agencies and private companies for manned spaceflights to Mars in the coming years. Beyond the engineering challenges posed by such an endeavour, maintenance of crew health will be extremely challenging. The risk of severe medical contingencies requiring surgeries during these 3 year flights is significant, with trauma and infections topping the list. The issue stems from our complete lack of experience in anaesthetic and surgical procedures on Humans in space. The delivery of advanced medical care will be complicated by changes in body physiology and limitations in medical skills and equipment. This presentation will start with a summary of the effects of the space environment on the Human body, before describing medical conditions of particular concern for a mission to Mars. Finally, we will discuss how the design of the on-board medical kit, and the clinical training of the crewmembers, could allow non-physicians to perform advanced medical care to maximise crew health and safety whilst minimising the impact of medical events on the mission.