Surgery In Space

NASA surgeons have long pondered whether or not surgery in space is possible; it was tried by surgeon Mark Campbell in the "Vomit Comet" in 1991 with an anesthetized and restrained rabbit under micro-G conditions.

(Micro-G surgery a difficult option)

Campbell ignores the sensation of weightlessness as he takes a scalpel and carefully opens the rabbit’s carotid artery, then pulls back to watch. Initially, Campbell sees exactly what he expects. In zero gravity, bright red globes of blood streak out of the wound like paint balls fired from a gun.

But within seconds, the steady flow of globes diminishes and then stops while a dome of blood grows over the incision. Dismayed, Campbell makes his carotid incision larger to increase blood flow but the results are unchanged, and a cut into a major artery in the rabbit’s abdomen has the same result. “Finally we just figured out that that’s the way blood acts in weightlessness,” he says. “It didn’t act the way we thought it would.”

Currently, the International Space Station keeps a spare Russian Soyuz capsule for use as an ambulance in case surgery is needed.

Larry Niven thought carefully about this problem in his 1970 blockbuster novel Ringworld:

But they got him into the autodoc anyway. It was a puppeteer-shaped coffin, form-fitted to Nessus himself, and bulky Puppeteer surgeons and mechanics must have intended that it should handle any conceivable circumstance. But had they thought of decapitation? They had. There were two heads in there, and two more with necks attached, and enough organs and body parts to make several complete puppeteers. Grown from Nessus himself, probably; the faces on the heads looked familiar.
(Read more about Larry Niven's autodoc)

Other science-fictional options are also enclosed, like the crechpod from Frank Herbert's 1972 novel The Godmakers. Open models, like the diagnostat from Robert Silverberg's wonderful 1969 novel The Man in the Maze, are not used in space. Via AirSpaceMag.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/21/2015)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Medical ")

Ultrathin Brain Needle Developed At MIT
Putting drugs into a selected cubic millimeter within the living brain.

NASA's 'Armstrong' Soft Wearable Upper Extremity Garment
'Exact same articulation as your shoulder joint, and it holds your muscles out of the way...' - Samuel R. Delany, 1966.

iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams
No problem, we'll just use the autodoc.

Watch What People Are Seeing Via Brain Scanning
'had managed to see through the other man's eyes as the other man, all unaware, washed their Zis limousine sixteen hundred meters away...' - Cordwainer Smith, 1958.



Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.






Current News

Dune Fans! Metal-Organic Frameworks Make Science Fiction Real
'Dew collectors,' he muttered, enchanted by the simple beauty of such a scheme.

Manned Maneuvering Unit From 1984
'The glittering little rocket bolted to the black iron behind him.'

Astronaut Gets Younger In Space
'So what we're looking for now is not an antibiotic - an anti-life drug - but an anti-agathic, an anti-death drug...'

Blockchain Used To Verify Election Results
'Any adult could punch into the phone his or her code, followed by a yes or no.'

IJOP Integrated Joint Operations Platform China's Minority Report?
'All day long the idiots babbled, imprisoned in their special high-backed chairs...'

HushMe Bluetooth Device Reinvents The Hush-A-Phone
'Talking into a hush-a-phone which he had plugged into the telephone jack...'

Ultrathin Brain Needle Developed At MIT
Putting drugs into a selected cubic millimeter within the living brain.

Tesla Semi Truck Now At Work
Why wait? Tesla Semi now hard at work.

Illustris: The Next Generation Of Universe Simulation
'This digital device was ... A machine able literally to contain the Universe Itself...'

Scaly Yet Soft Robotic Snake
Love those robotic sneks.

Cool Tinsley Lunar Unicycle Update
Great update of a timeless classic.

NASA's 'Armstrong' Soft Wearable Upper Extremity Garment
'Exact same articulation as your shoulder joint, and it holds your muscles out of the way...'

Kuri Robot Roams Your Home, Taking Pictures
'Small devices with cameras and sound equipment which could move freely...'

Tiny Rubbery Robot To Take 'Fantastic Voyage'
I think that I will wait for other volunteers for this one.

Svalbard Seed Vault (aka Doomsday Vault) Gets Upgrades
'But they existed in the Life Bank, as did virtually every plant and animal that existed on Old Earth.'

Disney Vyloo Robots With Personality
'Let's build robots with Genuine People Personalities...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise | - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.