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Evaluation of Medical Chest Drainage System

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Evaluation of Medical Chest Drainage System
There is currently no medical thoracic drainage system and suction capability that can function with a thoracic chest tube drainage system in the space operational environment. Terrestrial models of thoracic chest drainage systems are based upon a gravity dependent fluid system that requires an upright position for the device. This suction device is required to decompress a chest through a thoracotomy tube in the event of a chest injury, pneumothorax or decompression accident. This proposal seeks to flight test a modification to existing medical chest drainage system and demonstrate the functionality in a microgravity environment. This is to show proof of concept. The modification uses a novel combination of devices that are FDA approved for human use. It is hoped that by demonstrating a novel combination that is effective in microgravity the enhanced capabilities of this suction device could be utilized in additional terrestrial applications such as medical transport and battlefield medicine where optimal operational conditions may not exist. An educational component of the experiment will involve a demonstration of a classic 3- bottle chest tube system and demonstrate the failure of the system under microgravity environmental conditions. This demonstration should provide a vivid and graphic example of failure that will show the difficulties of the microgravity environment. The payload is intended for parabolic flight testing. It requires an operator to attend to the experiment during flight testing. It is not currently suitable for suborbital flight testing or unmanned flight testing. The dimensions of the device are of Type 2, less than 100 x 100 x 100 cm. The technology readiness level of this system is 5, medium fidelity prototype built and operated in a simulated environment. This experiment meets the design requirements of the NASA Reduced Gravity Office. More »

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Project Duration

Technology Maturity (TRL)

Target Destination

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