Treating the first known blood clot in space
When astronauts encounter a medical risk on the International Space Station 250 miles up from the Earth's surface, it's not exactly easy for a doctor to make a house call.

So when NASA researchers suspected a blood clot in one of their astronauts during a long-duration stay on the space station last year, they had to act quickly to treat the unexpected risk.
The blood clot was detected during a vascular study of 11 astronauts on the station to assess the effect of space on the internal jugular vein. In zero gravity, astronauts' blood and tissue fluid shifts toward the head.
The study involved nine men and two women with an average age of 46. The identities of the astronauts were not included in the study.
A new assessment of the blood clot published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Six of the astronauts experienced stagnant or reverse blood flow, one had a blood clot and another was found to have a potential partial blood clot. None exhibited symptoms and the findings wouldn't have been apparent without the study.

The pharmacy on the space station contained 20 vials with 300 milligrams each of an injectable blood thinner, which the astronaut was directed to use on a daily basis until an anticoagulant drug could be sent up to the station on a resupply mission. The researchers watched the clot shrink over time. Blood flow was induced after 47 days through the vein, but actual spontaneous blood flow was not achieved even after 90 days of treatment.
After landing, the blood clot disappeared once 24 hours had passed.

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