When NASA sends astronauts to the International Space Station, their bodies are always at their best,media BGR reported. This is a very important requirement, because there is virtually no way to treat most emergency medical conditions in space. Yet not every space traveler can stay healthy all the time, and there’s always something that pops up when people least want it. A NASA astronaut was diagnosed with a blood clot after two months in space.
But with four months to go until the end of the mission, NASA doctors are struggling to cope with the unfortunate discovery. Thankfully, doctors on Earth are happy to help.
With little time to consider these options, NASA asked Stephan Moll, M.D., of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, to provide professional assistance. Moll is an expert in thrombosis treatment, and NASA is eager for his help because no one in space has been diagnosed with a blood clot. The most important decision NASA faces is whether to get astronauts to start a blood thinner treatment to reduce the risk of blood clots increasing or breaking. If the thrombosis ruptures and begins through the astronaut’s circulatory system, the blood clots can enter the lungs, causing so-called pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal.
However, the risk of using blood thinners on astronauts includes an increased chance of bleeding, which is not ideal when they are not near the hospital. Eventually, Moll and NASA decided to let the astronauts start taking the thinner. The astronauts continued to take blood thinners until the end of the mission and four days before returning to Earth to ensure that the extra pressure on the body from taking the drug did not cause problems.