jump to navigation

Medical Update Friday

Posted by James Dubois in CHOIRS, Medical Update.


This is Dr. Saif Answar, chief of surgery for the CHOIRS program. Dr. Dubois asked me to post an update in his online journal concerning the status of health and wellness aboard the transports.

As we begin the preliminaries for the spin-up of the space station, exercise regimens have been strengthened and redoubled. Aerobic exercise and anaerobic exercise not only helps keep cardiovascular health and muscle tone, it increases osteoblast/bone cell production. To further combat bone density loss, we’re administering vitamin and mineral supplements, as well as hydroxyapatite in capsule form. The low-sodium, vegetarian diet continues and we’ve achieved a very low percentage of CHOIRS personnel suffering from various condition such as uric acid and calcium oxalate stones.
Dietary restrictions due to economics of space, cost and time will ease after spin-up and progression from the life modules to permanent shelters. Aero- and hydroponic gardens will produce approximately 35% of our food supply within the first four months, with that number climbing in the subsequent months as we move from our travel diet to our orbital diet. Our current gardens have provided much in the way of nutritional and psychological succor*

Over the course of our seven-year mission, nutritional demands have been met and meal plans have garnered a satisfactory rating from the crew and passengers. Food rationing is not expected to occur and CHOIRS residents can expect to continue to receive four meals per day and a minimum of 2.75 liters of water. James has already addressed one concern sent to us but I wish to reiterate that yes, we are allowed to make coffee and we do possess the necessary supplies and equipment to do so.

Personnel afflicted with ARS are now in cryonic stasis and these individuals are stable condition with no cellular deterioration. We expect 80% survivability with no loss of physical or mental ability. Individuals of advanced age (60+ years) may suffer long-term conditions resulting from the process. Please note that although it’s been popularized in the System media as “reversible death,” the subjects are not deceased, they are merely in a state of suspended function. Senescence is effectively halted while within the cryonic pods. Active individuals diagnosed with CRS show a decrease in blood cell count and increased cell mutation but we have instated a course of action to combat these problems with pharmacological agents, diet and exercise.

Psychological profiles are by and large stable. The residents of CHOIRS were pre-selected according to several criteria, one of which was mental health and stability. We have incidents of depression, sleep disorders, seasonal affective disorder and other conditions but nothing that warrants concern for the mission’s safety. Our treatment staff has been more than effective in providing therapeutic services and counseling. The biggest problem at this point is in establishing new social dynamics in these close-quarters. As we approach spin-up, we expect people to become more anxious and stressed but again, nothing to cause too much concern.

On a personal note, I and the CHOIRS team wish to thank you for your support these many years. We would not be here without your help, your dreams and your prayers.

– S. Answar, MD, CHOIRS

* Special thanks to Dr. Obinna and the Canadian team for their work in deep space agriculture and artificial lighting.