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HSO Report

November 9th, 2014

Vincent W. Coljee


The crew health is good overall, one crew member was a bit constipated but feeling better already. Another has noticed six itchy spots, discussion in the crew did not clarify where they may be from. Another crew member had some itchiness the first few days of the rotation but that went away, and couldn't describe the presentation of the site of itchiness. The “spots” don't present as insect bites I recognize, although they are grouped. They are more reminiscent of an allergic response, such as to poison ivy but quite small and lack any redness or other signs of inflammation, about 3-5 mm in diameter. If there are any more, or if another crew member shows similar spots, I will contact the emergency med team for further advice. No other medical issues.


The toilet situation is still delicate, it still clogs up every second or third time after solid waste is deposited. We have started to flush more often but there is possibly a constriction that gets obstructed when solid waste goes into the system, plunging clears it with effort but possibly not the original constriction. So it only helps and flows well until the next time it clogs. Would recommend to get a plumber to snake it before the next crew rotates in.


Last night, a crew member created a drill with a bizarre casualty, including an amputation of the left arm at the wrist with a knife and possible spinal and possible head injuries as well as a broken leg. Crew responded and went through the drill but the casualty elicited laughter with his antics making it difficult to go through the drill motions. We did what we could, tourniquet on the amputation, amputated body part in the fridge in a plastic ziplock, and proceeded to make the casualty comfortable and treat at least the pain, made a hypothetical IV line. If such a thing had really happened on Mars, it would have been difficult to bring this to a good end, especially if spinal/head injuries were involved. It was a bit of an extreme scenario, yet again the team aside from laughing responded well in taking charge of doing what they can for the casualty.


This morning HSO was habcom when an in sim medical emergency drill was initiated by a crew member. Permission was asked and granted for an emergency egress in sim of the HSO to aid in the medical emergency. The faux casualty was transported to the airlock by the remainder of the EVA team in the end carrying the faux unconscious casualty actually using some of the carrying techniques discussed and practiced yesterday. The crew member had simulated a fall and a broken femur, initial diagnosis was done in the airlock and remaining hab crew member prepped the lower level to receive the casualty. The HSO was not able to diagnose much while in the lock in full suit, just to make the casualty as comfortable while unconscious, but by quizzing the other team members from the EVA determined a break, no evidence of bleeding, and the casualty was breathing well with a strong heartbeat. Once inside, the drill was run through its course determining what the casualty would require in sim. We had to assume the presence of things not available but even so went through the motions to follow the protocol of dealing with someone with a broken femur, possible shock and once the crew member recovered consciousness, doing pain management and determining the extent of injuries, measuring vitals (bp and hr) reassuring the casualty of the nature of the injuries discerned, followed by splinting of the leg. End of simulated injury. Again the radios did not work optimally and much increases the chances of miscommunication.


The sim, does reveal the absence of any leg or arm splints that could be used to stabilize any broken limb. There are two ankle supports and two head braces present at MDRS.