Crew Medical Restraint System (CMRS)


The Crew Medical Restraint System (CMRS) was designed to be a component of the International Space Station (ISS) Crew Health Care System (CHeCS). The purpose of the CMRS is to secure the ill or injured crewmember during a medical emergency along with the rescuing crewmember. The goals of this experiment were (1) to assess the effectiveness of the restraint system as a means to stabilize and treat ill or injured crewmembers in a microgravity environment and (2) to demonstrate the CMRS setup time can consistently be achieved in less than two minutes.

Shuttle-Mir Missions

The CMRS was flown and operated during the STS-81 mission. CMRS hardware consisted of a patient restraint surface similar in design to a medical backboard. The CMRS measured 56 x 14 inches and weighed about 36 pounds. The patient restraint surface contained both "patient" and "care provider" restraint straps. Patient restraint methods included a "V" harness, upper and lower torso straps, and a head restraint. The restraint system was constructed out of an extremely rigid plastic that would provide effective electrical isolation for the crew and equipment during defibrillation. The board had folding legs, seat tracks and track anchors. The tracks and anchors were used to attach the restraint system to a payload rack inside the Spacehab module. The CMRS was unpacked and secured to ISS seat tracks and anchors installed inside Spacehab to emulate a medical emergency inside the ISS. For stowage, the CMRS could be folded into a configuration that measured 28 x 14 x 5 inches.

Three different medical situations were simulated. In the first scenario, one care provider deployed the CMRS and secured a patient to the surface. The procedures were repeated in scenarios' two and three using two care providers. In addition, the CMRS was used to transport the patient to the Shuttle middeck, where crewmembers exchanged roles and transported the new patient back to the Spacehab. The session was videotaped.

The CMRS experiment was successfully flown and operated on the STS-81 mission in the Spacehab module. Each of the three deployment scenarios were accomplished in less than one minute, well within the requirement specifications. This included the time needed for a medical care provider to secure the test subject to the restraint surface. Transportation of the patient attached to the CMRS from Spacehab to Shuttle middeck simulated the transfer from ISS to a Shuttle or the Assured Crew Return Vehicle (ACRV). An evaluation of the restraint effectiveness for both the patient and care provider resulted in several recommendations for future updates.

The CMRS is a safe and reliable restraint system to stabilize and treat ill or injured crewmembers in a microgravity environment.

Earth Benefits
This experiment demonstrated the successful design and deployment of medical emergency hardware. The results of this test will aid in the development of future space medical emergency hardware.

None available at this time.

Principal Investigators
Roger Billica
NASA/Johnson Space Center

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Page last updated: 07/16/1999