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Papers of the Week

2021 May 21

Reg Anesth Pain Med

The role for regional anesthesia in medical emergencies during deep space flight.



As humanity presses the boundaries of space exploration and prepares for long-term interplanetary travel, including to Mars, advanced planning for the safety and health of the crewmembers requires a multidisciplinary approach. In particular, in the event of a survivable medical emergency requiring an interventional procedure or prolonged pain management, such as traumatic limb injury or rib fracture, anesthetic protocols that are both safe and straightforward to execute must be in place. In this daring discourse, we discuss particular considerations related to the use of regional techniques in space and present the rationale that regional anesthesia techniques may be the safest option in many medical emergencies encountered during prolonged space flight.