August 14, 2008 - Physio-Control today said the LIFEPAK 1000 defibrillator was deployed on the International Space Station (ISS) in July as the first automated external defibrillator (AED) in space.
AEDs are easy to use devices that automatically interpret a patient’s heart rhythm and, if necessary, deliver a potentially lifesaving defibrillation shock. They have become common in places such as airplanes, health clubs, and schools and now the LIFEPAK 1000 AED will be available for NASA crew members should someone experience sudden cardiac arrest in space.
The ISS has utilized manual defibrillators in the past, but NASA decided to now deploy an AED because it requires less training and maintenance, better enabling astronauts to respond to a medical emergency. The small size and light weight of the 1000 also helped minimize hardware mass and volume onboard the Space Station, NASA said.
NASA conducted extensive evaluations of 18 AEDs available worldwide before selecting the LIFEPAK 1000 defibrillator. The AED evaluations focused on user interface, ease of use, durability and detailed technical specifications related to the unique conditions encountered in space, including electromagnetic interference, pressure susceptibility, temperature, vibration, acceleration and other environmental factors. Additionally, medical operations personnel evaluated the use of LIFEPAK 1000 in zero gravity conditions aboard a NASA DC-9 test aircraft as part of developing their advanced life support use protocols.
With the exception of a customized battery developed and provided by Micro Power Electronics and a NASA-created cover for the device that is specifically designed for space use to help protect it from electromagnetic interference, the LIFEPAK 1000 was deployed on board the space station in the same device configuration used by professional emergency responders, Physio-Control said.
Available from Physio-Control since 2006, the LIFEPAK 1000 defibrillator is an AED created for use by basic life support responders to treat cardiac arrest patients. The 1000 can also be programmed so those with more advanced training can view the three-lead ECG onscreen to provide continuous cardiac monitoring. The 1000 provides escalating biphasic energy up to 360 joules.
For more information: www.nasa.gov, www.physio-control.com