611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

LaFrontera
member support line
1-520-279-5737
M-F 5pm-8pm
24/7 weekends/holidays

AzCH Nurse Assist Line
1-866-495-6735

NAZCARE Warm Line
1-888-404-5530



SEABHS
611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

AzCH Nurse Assist Line
1-866-495-6735

NAZCARE Warm Line
1-888-404-5530


powered by centersite dot net

Getting Started
Here are some forms to get started. These can be printed and brought with you so that you can pre-fill out some known info ahead of time. More...


Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
As Schools Reopen, Many Students, Staff Live With High-Risk Family MemberCOVID-19 Poses Added Risk for People With Addiction Disorders: StudyGetting a Hip Replacement? Choice of Hospital Can Be CrucialAlmost 90,000 Young American Adults Will Get Cancer This Year: ReportAnother Rapid COVID-19 Test Shows PromiseDetails Emerge on Unexplained Illness in AstraZeneca COVID Vaccine TrialRising Obesity Levels Put Americans at Risk During Pandemic: CDCMore Pets May Be Getting COVID-19 Than RealizedWildfire Smoke Poses Special Threat to People With AsthmaCOVID-19 Prevention Might Translate Into Record Low Flu Rates: CDCFor Stroke Survivors, Timely Rehab Has Been Jeopardized During PandemicCOVID-19 Has Taken a Toll on Organ DonationCOVID Conflicts Are Putting Big Strains on RelationshipsCoronavirus Vaccine Plan for Americans AnnouncedParkinson's Ups the Odds for Dangerous Falls, But Prevention Is KeyPregnant Women With COVID-19 at High Risk for ComplicationsCompanion Drug Might Help Prevent Kidney Complications of LupusAHA News: Making Sense of Cholesterol – the Good, the Bad and the DietaryDo Ordinary Eyeglasses Offer Protection Against COVID-19?Elevated Blood Clotting Factor Linked to Worse COVID-19 OutcomesParkinson's Drug Eyed as Treatment for Severe Macular DegenerationNew Drug Shows Promise in Preventing Severe COVIDSome Psoriasis Meds May Also Help Prevent Heart DiseaseSmall Study Supports Donor Plasma Therapy for Severe COVID-19Probiotic Might Help Ease Children's EczemaDeath From COVID-19 Very Rare for Americans 21 and Under: ReportEven Exercise May Not Ease Pandemic-Linked StressDoctors Should Watch for Punctured Lungs in COVID PatientsCould COVID-19 Someday Become Seasonal, Like Flu?Is Arthritis Pain Relief as Close as Your Spice Rack?Their Jobs May Put Black Americans at Greater COVID Risk'Flattening the Curve' Saves More Lives Than ThoughtFewer Kids May Be Carrying Coronavirus Without Symptoms Than Believed: StudyCOVID-19 Takes Heavy Toll on KidneysPoll Finds Pandemic Surge in Loneliness Among Older AdultsAstraZeneca COVID Vaccine Trial RestartsDonating Plasma Helps Fight Immune DisorderKids at 2 Utah Day Cares Easily Spread COVID to FamiliesCOVID Hits Young Adults Harder Than Thought: StudyAHA News: A Closer Look at COVID-19 and Heart Complications Among AthletesAt One Hospital, ICU Workers' PPE May Have Kept Coronavirus at BayBlood Pressure Meds Can Affect COVID-19 CareStudy Confirms Restaurants, Bars Are COVID Infection HotspotsHow One Hospital Kept COVID Transmissions at Nearly ZeroJust How Reliable Are COVID-19 Tests? Experts Weigh InUntreated High Blood Pressure a Growing Problem Among AmericansWest Coast Wildfires, COVID a Double Whammy to Lung HealthWho's Most Likely to Binge Eat Amid Pandemic?Colleges in 50 States Seeing COVID Cases on CampusEarly Trial Offers New Hope for People With Hemophilia
Questions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Cancer
Men's Health
Women's Health

Clots in Space: Astronaut's Blocked Vein Brings Medical Insight

HealthDay News
by By E.J. Mundell
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Jan 2nd 2020

new article illustration

THURSDAY, Jan. 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- "Space medicine" took another small step forward after an astronaut who developed a blood clot in a neck vein was diagnosed and treated while onboard the International Space Station (ISS), physicians at NASA and elsewhere report.

The research team didn't reveal the astronaut's name, age or gender, but said the ISS crew member developed an asymptomatic thrombosis -- blood clot -- in the jugular vein, the major vein draining blood from the brain back to the heart.

Back on Earth, such a case could be quickly remedied in the nearest emergency room. But the logistics of doing so in space were far more complicated, said the team that included Dr. James Pattarini of Houston's National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Johnson Space Center and Dr. Serena Aunon-Chancellor, of the Louisiana State University Health Science Center, in Baton Rouge.

Reporting the details of the incident in the Jan. 2 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, they said that in this episode of space medicine, medical decisions occurred "across multiple space agencies to overcome the numerous logistic and operational challenges."

According to the doctors, it was only by sheer luck that the astronaut's blood clot was discovered at all.

The crew member was taking part in a "vascular research study" that involved intermittent ultrasound examinations of blood vessels before, during and after the ISS space mission.

Although the astronaut showed no symptoms of vein blockage -- no headache or facial redness -- the jugular vein was abnormally "prominent" during a physical exam, and a follow-up ultrasound confirmed a clot.

After multiple "telemedicine" discussions with medical staff back on Earth, it was decided that the astronaut would be treated with the blood thinner enoxaparin (Lovenox), 20 vials of which had been part of the space station's medical kit.

The dose was reduced, however, so that the astronaut could be treated until other blood thinners could be dispatched to the space station. Forty-two days after the crew member's clot had been diagnosed, a switch in medications was made, from enoxaparin to apixaban (Eliquis).

The clot slowly shrank over months of treatment, but blood flow through the jugular was still not fully back to normal, even three months after treatment.

However, when the astronaut finally returned to Earth -- and normal gravity -- blood flow in the jugular returned to normal, and treatment was discontinued. In fact, 10 days after landing the clot was completely gone.

Two experts in circulatory health who read over the report said it gives fascinating new insight into how zero-gravity conditions could compromise blood flow.

The astronaut's clot was a form of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), but these clots most often form in the legs, noted Dr. Craig Greben, chief of interventional radiology at Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, N.Y.

It seems that "the weightlessness astronauts experience during space missions may be another unstudied cause of DVT that requires rigorous research, because it can be silent and fatal, and space travel is only increasing," Greben said.

Dr. Maja Zaric agreed. She's an interventional cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

Zaric said the astronaut was in real danger from the clot.

"The size and proximity of documented blood clot to the heart could have easily put [the crew member] into harm's way, as it could have traveled down to the heart causing pulmonary embolism, or up extending into the head and brain veins," she explained.

And Zaric noted that ultrasounds conducted on other crew members confirmed that zero-gravity conditions can radically change the dynamics of blood flow.

"In six out of 11 studied astronauts, there was abnormal venous flow detected," she said. Instead of the steady forward movement that pushes blood through veins, the astronauts exhibited a "to and fro" or "sloshing" movement, Zaric explained. That does not "ensure effective return of head and brain blood back to the heart," she said.

In essence, gravity appears key to healthy blood flow, and without it a "stasis" appears to occur within vessels, Zaric said.

The research team said the astronaut's survival was a tribute to coordinated medical care. But the case also highlights a new spaceflight danger.

It's now imperative that research continue into "the development of prevention and management strategies for venous thromboembolism in weightlessness, especially with future plans for prolonged space travel to the Moon and Mars," the team wrote.

Greben agreed.

"In this space case, the power of telemedicine from a room on the International Space Station to the doctor's office on Earth is sensational," he said. "The future is now, and this is what telehealth looks like -- a page out of 'The Jetsons' or a 'Star Trek' script."

More information

There's more on DVTs at the U.S. National Library of Medicine.