Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a life-saving technique that is underappreciated. It has aided numerous people all around the world, and astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency has chosen to demonstrate to us online how it may also save lives in space.
On Earth, CPR relies on our applying pressure to a person’s chest with our body weight in order to apply compressions that will keep the heart pumping. These compressions are performed 100 to 120 times per minute while performing hands-only CPR. But the International Space Station does not allow you to use your weight.
Simply applying a compression will cause you to be pushed away from the person’s body due to microgravity. The third law of dynamics states that there is an equal and opposite reaction to every action. You must therefore figure out a strategy to anchor yourself.
Cristoforetti states in the film, “My favorite technique is to go upside down and push off with my feet from the ‘ceiling’.”
The CPR bench that Cristoforetti and his colleagues use for practice also has a strap that the rescuer can attach to if they would rather stay upright. They provide CPR while breathing through a resuscitation mask, alternating 30 compressions with two breaths. prior to starting over.
Kjell Lindgren, a physician with the current expedition, is present, but this is not always the case. To be prepared in case of emergency, the staff regularly practices CPR.