Mars Desert Research Station
Survival Guide for the Happy Health & Safety Officer
Started by Gernot Groemer - MDRS-11

Set Up:
  • Within the first 24 hours, have your crew members read and fill out the medical forms (template is available at the HabCom Computer), fold it unread, put down their names on the backside of the sheet and store them in the Red Box (next to the CD-player) for later use.
  • Store your drug key in a safe place, hand out the second key to the Cdr.
  • Read all medical instructions carefully and make yourself very familiar with the medical and fire equipment.
  • Ask Mission Support who your Flight Surgeon will be and write him/her an email stating who you are.
Everyday Things:
  • Typical crew problems include small bruises and micro-wounds. In this environment special attention should be given to small infections.
  • Dehydration: make sure that all crewmembers are drinking enough e.g. by having drinks available when they return from EVAs or placing a full jar of juice in the kitchen corner. Additionally, tell them to cream their hands and faces regularly, repeat that "encouragement" every four days. Sunburns seem to be not a problem here.
  • One of the crewmembers experienced slight allergic disorders within the hab (might be something from the hab itself?)
  • During EVAs make sure, that no one is taking a risk, especially when it comes to driving and climbing.
  • After EVAs, some crewmembers might experience very tense back muscles, sometimes combined with slight headache (due to muscle tension). A massage might be of advantage and be good for crew morale. One time I administered Ibuprofen for a more serious case.

Right next to the HabCom Computer there is a flow chart of what to do during in emergency. Be aware that in case of real troubles, you will have to improvise and you'll be on your own. Consider sending someone right off to Hanksville and get the ambulance service there. Life flight will take between 30 and 60 minutes after alarming them to get here.

Known Problems:
  • The medication in the Red Box is mostly far beyond expiration date. We have relayed that problem to Medical Operations, but never got replacements.
  • No advanced equipment, we have requested some more material, maybe it might make sense to re-iterate on that, as most of us are EMTs or doctors anyway. I suggested at least Blood pressure cuff, Stethoscope, I.V. equipment, Saline solutions, maybe a colloidal fluid. Spine board would be nice, but probably considered medical over-engineering.
  • The GreenHab is a septic place: make sure that the people who came from the GreenHab do not prepare the meals, just to be on the safe side.
Action Items:

Maybe you could arrange for a few more medical tests during EVAs in terms of what is possible and what equipment one might need on Mars. I've started this with a few trauma experiments, you might want to check them out under: download the medical word document.