Hyperbaric Treatment Operations Aboard Space Station Freedom 921142
Hyperbaric operations are required onboard Space Station Freedom to treat decompression sickness, air embolism, and ebullism. These conditions may be encountered either during the normal course of extravehicular activity (EVA) or following a rapid decompression resulting from loss of pressurized element integrity or loss of space suit integrity. Hyperbaric treatment operations on board Space Station are essential to assure a continuing EVA capability. The Space Station Airlock provides the resources and equipment to accommodate hyperbaric operations, as well as a number of other operations including nominal EVA egress and ingress, prebreathing procedures, and space suit servicing.
The Space Station Airlock has two chambers, the crewlock and the equipment lock. The crewlock is used as the hyperbaric chamber and can be pressurized to 41.1 psia for treatment. Both the crewlock and the equipment lock contain medical equipment and environmental control equipment to support hyperbaric operations. This paper discusses the role that both chambers play in efficiently accommodating the equipment in support of required hyperbaric procedures. In addition, a description of the medical hardware is offered, and the likely responsibilities and scenarios that include the two crew medical officers are detailed.