A Review of the Influence of Physical Condition Parameters on a Typical Aerospace Stress Effect: Decompression Sickness
BIOTECHNOLOGY INC FALLS CHURCH VA
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The study examines data on episodes of decompression sickness, particularly from recent Navy work in which the event occurred under multiple stress conditions, to determine the extent to which decompression sickness might be predicted on the basis of personal characteristics such as age, weight, and physical condition. Such information should ultimately be useful for establishing medical selection criteria to screen individuals prior to participation inactivities involving extensive changes in ambient pressure, including those encountered in space operations. The main conclusions were as follows. There is a definite and positive relationship between increasing age and weight and the likelihood of decompression sickness. However, for predictive purposes, the relationship is low. To reduce the risk of bends, particularly for older individuals, strenuous exercise should be avoided immediately after ambient pressure changes. Temperatures should be kept at the low end of the comfort zone. For space activities, pressure changes of over 6-7 psi should be avoided. Prospective participants in future missions such as the Space Shuttle should not be excluded on the basis of age, certainly to age 60, if their general condition is reasonably good and they are not grossly obese.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Stress Physiology