NASA procedure for nuts in space

If you're a NASA astronaut and you totally flip out in space, your crewmates are instructed to restrain you with duct tape, tie you down with bungee cords, and inject you with the anti-psychotic drug Haldol or a tranquilizer like Valium. The plan is outlined in 1,000+ page document that the Associated Press obtained this week outlining how to deal with medical emergencies. From the Associated Press:

Space station medical kits contain tranquilizers and anti-depression, anti-anxiety and anti-psychotic medications. Shuttle medical kits have anti-psychotic medication but not antidepressants, since they take several weeks to be effective and shuttle flights last less than two weeks.

The checklist says astronauts can be restrained and then offered oral Haldol, an anti-psychotic drug used to treat agitation and mania, and Valium. If the astronaut will not cooperate, the drugs can be forcibly given with a shot to the arm. Crew members are instructed to stay with the tied-up astronaut to monitor vital signs.

Space station astronauts talk weekly via long-distance hookup to a flight surgeon and every two weeks to a psychologist, so any psychiatric disorder would probably be detected before it became so serious that the astronaut had to be brought home, (NASA spokesperson James) Hartsfield said…

U.S. astronauts at the space station keep a journal for a study by a researcher. But (former NASA psychiatrist Dr. Patricia) Santy said the diaries will not help detect mental illness.

"What astronaut is going to tell you they're feeling homicidal?" she asked. "They're very conscious that if they say the wrong thing they could get grounded."


Previously on BB:
• Jealous astronaut song and cartoon Link
• More on the diapered astronaut Link