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SPACE PHYSIOLOGY

Aerobatic maneuver shifts blood volume


away from the head transient decrease in
cerebral blood flow and O2 delivery

ACCELERATION IN ONE DIRECTION SHIFTS


BLOOD VOLUME IN OPPOSITE DIRECTION

Newtons 1st Law of Motion Inertia


o A body remains at rest, and a body
in motion remains in motion, at the
same velocity, unless acted upon by
an external force.
Newtons 2nd Law of Motion Momentum
o Momentum = Mass X Velocity
o When an external force acts on a
body, the change in bodys
momentum is in the direction of the
force
Newtons 3rd Law of Motion
o For every action, there is an equal
but opposite reaction.

WEIGHTLESSNESS

G FORCE

Dimensionless number that describes the


magnitude of acceleration force (a)
experienced by an astronaut, relative to the
force the astronaut experiences due to the
earths gravity at sea level.
G forces propel the bodys tissues in the
direction
opposite
the
direction
of
acceleration
o Compressing soft tissues against
underlying
structural
elements
(bone) or pulling these tissues away
from overlying structural elements.
o G forces tend to shift the blood
volume away from the direction
of acceleration, adding to the
other component forces that
determine blood pressure.
HIGH PERFORMANCE AIRCRAFTS

Aerobatic maneuvers shift blood volume


away from the head causes transient
decrease in cerebral blood flow and oxygen
deliver, if reduction continuous, will lead to
loss of consciousness
Signs:
o Narrowing of visual field (loss of
peripheral vision)
o Loss of color perception (gray-out)
time of exposure to high G force blood
pressure (in the upper body)
The return of BP to 55/20mmHg after 1015sec is due to the activation of baroreceptor
reflex.

State of near-zero G force


Also called as microgravity environment
People are adapted to life at +1G, and
arteriolar tone in lower extremities prevents
pooling of blood in the capacitance vessels,
ensuring adequate venous return to the right
heart.
Physiological
problems
exist
with
weightlessness:
o Motion sickness during the first few
days of travel
o Translocation
of
body
fluids
because of failure of gravity to
cause normal hydrostatic pressure
gradients
o Diminished
physical
activity
because no strength of muscle
contraction is required to oppose
force of gravity
Consequences of prolonged space travel:
o Decreased blood volume
o Decreased RBC mass
o Decreased muscle strength and
work capacity
o Decreased
maximum
cardiac
output
o Loss of calcium and phosphate
from bones decreased bone
mass
ACUTE EFFECT OF MICROGRAVITY IN
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM

Cephalad shift of blood volume


Absence of vascular tone in lower
extremities
Increased cardiac preload
Increased filtration of plasma H2O into the
interstitium of facial region edema
(bloated face of astronauts)

EXERCISE PARTIALLY OVERCOMES


DECONDITIONING OF MUSCLES DURING
SPACE FLIGHT

Intermittent loading of muscles, bone and


cardiovascular
system
prevents
deconditioning effects of spaceflight on
muscle mass and performance.
Most effective exercise treadmill with lower
body encased in a negative-pressure
chamber.

RETURN TO EARTH REQUIRES SPECIAL


MEASURES TO ENSURE MAINTENANCE OF
ARTERIAL BLOOD PRESSURE

Most dramatic effects are decrease in blood


volume and decrease in tone of leg vessels
decrease cardiac preload, orthostatic
tolerance, and exercise capacity
In recent years, astronauts have employed
various strategies just before re-entry to
counter the adaptations to microgravity.

The
countermeasure
to
orthostatic
intolerance is restoration of blood volume
before re-entry. One means of attenuating
the reduction of blood volume in space flight
is an exercise program.
o Even a brief period (e.g., 30
minutes) of intense exercise
expands plasma albumin content
and increases plasma oncotic
pressure and plasma volume by
10% within 24 hours
A second way of minimizing the decreased
blood volume is to increase salt and fluid
intake. However, this practice has proven
difficult to implement because of the
consequent increase in urine flow.
Currently, astronauts are educated about the
effects of prolonged space flight and are
then maintained under continuous scrutiny
after re-entry until they have regained a
normal orthostatic response