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Shuttle Orbiter Medical System

The shuttle orbiter medical system is required to provide medical care in flight for minor illnesses and injuries. It also provides support for stabilizing severely injured or ill crew members until they are returned to Earth. The SOMS consists of two separate packages: the medications and bandage kit and the emergency medical kit. The MBK is blue and the EMK is also blue with red Velcro.

The medical kits are stowed in a modular locker in the middeck of the crew compartment. If the kits are required on orbit, they are unstowed and installed on the locker doors with Velcro.

Each kit contains pallets. The MBK pallet designators are D, E and F. The D pallet contains oral medications consisting of pills, capsules and suppositories. The E pallet contains bandage materials for covering or immobilizing body parts. The F pallet contains medications to be administered by topical application.

The EMK pallet designators are A, B, C and G. The A pallet contains medications to be administered by injection. The B pallet contains items for performing minor surgeries. The C pallet contains diagnostic/therapeutic items consisting of instruments for measuring and inspecting the body. The G pallet contains a microbiological test kit for testing for bacterial infections.

The diagnostic equipment on board and information from the flight crew will allow diagnosis and treatment of injuries and illnesses through consultation with flight surgeons in the Mission Control Center in Houston.

Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 04/07/2002
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