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Surgical bleeding in microgravityA surgical procedure performed during space flight would occur in a unique microgravity environment. Several experiments performed during weightlessness in parabolic flight were reviewed to ascertain the behavior of surgical bleeding in microgravity. Simulations of bleeding using dyed fluid and citrated bovine blood, as well as actual arterial and venous bleeding in rabbits, were examined. The high surface tension property of blood promotes the formation of large fluid domes, which have a tendency to adhere to the wound. The use of sponges and suction will be adequate to prevent cabin atmosphere contamination with all bleeding, with the exception of temporary arterial droplet streams. The control of the bleeding with standard surgical techniques should not be difficult.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Campbell, M. R.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX United States)
Billica, R. D.
Johnston, S. L. 3rd
Date Acquired
August 22, 2013
Publication Date
August 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: Surgery, gynecology & obstetrics
Volume: 177
Issue: 2
ISSN: 0039-6087
Subject Category
Aerospace Medicine
Distribution Limits
short duration
Flight Experiment
Parabolic Flight

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