Launch Into The Future Of Burns Care In Space

Dr Alicia Tucker


Humans have always looked up to the stars with wonder.   Our innate need to explore the unknown has evolved over the millennia.  The post WWII boom in space technology development spurned the Space Race and has now ignited the Commercial Spaceflight Industry.  However, from the time Yuri Gagarin first went into space, to the establishment of the permanently inhabited, International Space Station, we have been working to overcome the challenges that the spaceflight environment has on human physiology and psychology.

Whether it’s a friction burn from a treadmill being used to prevent bone and muscle mass loss from microgravity, or a thermal burn from an exploding lithium canister being used in a space station oxygen generation system, the spaceflight environment is not immune to acute burn injury.  What could normally be a minor inconvenience on Earth, can affect mission objectives by altering astronaut performance.  Coupled with resource limitations, potential communication disruptions and the inability to quickly return to Earth, acute burn and trauma care in Space needs to be considered, creative and adaptable.

In this session, we will explore the challenges of human spaceflight, possible aetiologies of burn injury in Space as well as an overview of the past, present and future prevention and management of burns in space.

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