Potential Aerospace Life Support Systems Applications in Clinical Medicine


  1. Kirkpatrick, A.W.
  2. Goodman, L.S.
  3. Gray, G.W.
  4. Smith, T.
Corporate Authors
Defence and Civil Inst of Environmental Medicine, Downsview ONT (CAN)
The Aerospace Medicine discipline has developed an extensive experience with life support techniques such as positive pressure breathing and pneumatic counterpressurization of the trunk and periphery in order to protect healthy pilots in adverse physiological environments. This information and biomedical technology have not been fully exploited in the treatment of patients with adverse physiology in critical care medicine. Recent appreciation of the importance of controlling ventilator pressures and the beneficial cardiac aspects of delivering positive pressure into the lung provide a basis for the rational application of these techniques. Pneumatic compression is currently accepted and used clinically in the critical care setting for the prevention of venous clot formation. Preliminary work has already been performed using countermpressurization as a means of assisting patients with heart failure. The potential roles and avenues for further study of external counterpressurization in the treatment of respiratory failure, low output and cardiac arrest states, toxic inhalation and poisonings, will be reviewed.
Pneumatic counterpressure;Critical care;Cardiopulmonary support;Positive pressure breathing;Ventricular assistance;Hyperbaric oxygenation;Venous gas emboli;Positive Pressure Breathing (PPB)
Report Number
DCIEM-TR-1999-026 — Technical Report
Date of publication
01 Mar 1999
Number of Pages
Hardcopy;Document Image stored on Optical Disk

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