After conducting a series of analyses, NASA has observed that astronomers are prone to develop some peculiar effects during spaceflight. The astronomers subjected to the analysis showed that their blood is going backwards in their veins, and others suffered from blood clotting, rising panic among the space agency’s astronauts.
An unnamed astronaut currently based on the International Space Station (ISS) was carrying an ultrasound on their body, which was being managed by specialists in the ground center. Similar tests performed on the astronaut before they went to space came back with a normal result.
A Worrisome Phenomenon
The scan performed in space unveiled a clump of clotted blood in the astronaut’s neck, shocking the space agency’s medics. NASA scientist Karina Marshall-Goebel told The Atlantic that they were not anticipating this at all, and the bizarre phenomenon has never been discovered before.
The astronaut didn’t have any symptoms linked to clots but was administrated blood-thinning medication for their remaining period in space. Later on, this type of clotting was declared a new threat for humans traveling to space.
Surprisingly, the enigmatic phenomenon didn’t end here.
The space agency found that on five of 11 astronauts on the ISS, the blood flow in the jugular vein has stalled. The observation was made using ultrasound technology. Marshall-Goebel explained that sometimes the flow was ‘ sloshing back and forth a bit, but there was no net-forward movement.’
The jugular vein is among the most vital parts of the human body. It is located between the heart and the head, discharging deoxygenated blood from the brain, a process that is crucial to reduce pressure in the brain.
Stalled blood flow in veins is an incredibly rare phenomenon, and it is normally only taking place in the legs, sometimes after long plane flights. This condition is a serious concern because it can conduct to clotting, which, in turn, causes more severe issues, such as damage to the lungs. Moreover, serious clotting can be deadly.
What is even more peculiar was the observation that the blood in the jugular vein was moving backwards – from the heart towards the head – for two astronauts. NASA doctors portrayed this as extremely unnatural, and aid that the blood may have shifted trajectory because of a blockage.
Medication is Being Provided
A similar occurrence has been discovered on Earth in patients suffering from tumors that make the blood find a different route to the heart. However, as soon as the astronauts returned to Earth, the bizarre phenomenon has completely vanished.
Marshall-Goebel said that none of the team members actually received a negative clinical result.
“I think it was probably scary for everybody,” she went on. “But I think the fact that we found this now is really, really good news because it’s something that. If you know this is a risk factor of spaceflight, it’s something that you can monitor and prevent.”
A NASA spokesperson later announced that the International Space Station is geared with necessary treatments in the medical kit accessible for each crew member.
Known for her passion for writing, Paula contributes on both Science and Health niches here at Dual Dove.