Author(s): Tokumaru O
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Extended and more frequent extravehicular activity (EVA) is planned in NASA's future space programs. The more EVAs are conducted, the higher the incidence of decompression sickness (DCS) that is anticipated. Since Japan is also promoting the Space Station Freedom project with NASA, DCS during EVA will be an inevitable complication. The author reviewed the pathophysiology of DCS and detailed four possible ways of preventing decompression sickness during EVA in space: (1) higher pressure suit technology; (2) preoxygenation/prebreathing; (3) staged decompression; and (4) habitat or vehicle pressurization. Among these measures, development of zero-prebreathe higher pressure suit technology seems most ideal, but because of economic and technical reasons and in cases of emergency, other methods must also be improved. Unsolved problems like repeated decompression or oxygen toxicity were also listed.
This article was published in Boei Ika Daigakko Zasshi
and referenced in Journal of Pulmonary & Respiratory Medicine