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The Final Telemedicine: UNC Professional Aids Treat Astronaut’s Blood Clot throughout NASA Operation

Press Release

News Wise-CHAPEL HILL, NC- “My immediate reaction after NASA reached out to me was to question him if I was in a position to visit the International Space Station (ISS). I was enthusiastic about visiting and also to treat the patient myself,” These words were said by Stephan Moll, who is a blood clot expert in the MD, UNC School of Medicine, and a long-term NASA enthusiast. He added that NASA told him that they could not take him with them quickly enough. Instead, he proceeded with the examination and treatment process from where he was at Chapel Hill. 

Moll was not from NASA and was the only physician contacted by NASA when it was realized that an astronaut aboard the International Space Station was ailing from a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in other words referred to as blood clot, this was in the jugular vein located on the neck. The identity of the astronaut is anonymous for privacy reasons because recognizing information like when the event occurred absent from the case study. We are not told that the astronaut was two months into a mission of six months on the International Space Station during the discovering of deep vein thrombosis. 

This was the paramount time a blood clot discovery in an astronaut in the space. This meant that there was not an established technique of cure for deep vein thrombosis in a vacuum. Moll, who is a member of the UNC Blood Research Center, contacted to assist due to his vast knowledge and treatment skill of the deep vein thrombosis on Earth. 

Moll stated that usually, the procedure of treating a patient with a deep vein thrombosis would be to begin them on blood thinners for almost three months to avoid the clot from growing bigger and to reduce the harm it might cause when moved to a different part of the body like the lungs.  He added that there might be a risk while taking blood thinners that if there is an occurrence of an injury, it might lead to internal bleeding that is difficult to sojourn. A crucial alternative need for medical attention in, either way, assuming there are no emergency chambers in space, they had to weigh their options carefully. 

Moll, together with the NASA doctor’s team, decided blood thinners could be the better treatment course for the astronaut.

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