If it’s good for NASA, it must be good for your dirty hospital. Medtronic is excited that its portable LIFEPAK® 1000 automated external defibrillator has won some hearts at NASA, after the agency tested 18 other AEDs, and selected this particular model to be the first ever defibrillator in space, to be deployed on the International Space Station (ISS) along with some Russians and Georgians. If the current conflict escalates into outer space, this might come in handy.
The ISS has utilized manual defibrillators in the past, but NASA decided to now deploy an AED because it requires less training and maintenance, better enabling astronauts to respond to a medical emergency. The small size and light weight of the 1000 also helped minimize hardware mass and volume onboard the Space Station.
NASA conducted extensive evaluations of 18 AEDs available worldwide before selecting the LIFEPAK 1000 defibrillator to protect the crew members of the ISS. The AED evaluations focused on user interface, ease of use, durability and detailed technical specifications related to the unique conditions encountered in space, including electromagnetic interference, pressure susceptibility, temperature, vibration, acceleration and other environmental factors. Additionally, Medical Operations personnel evaluated the use of LIFEPAK 1000 in zero gravity conditions aboard a NASA DC-9 test aircraft as part of developing their advanced life support use protocols.
With the exception of a customized battery developed and provided by Micro Power Electronics, a leading manufacturer of custom batteries and power systems, and a NASA-created cover for the device that is specifically designed for space use to help protect it from electromagnetic interference, the LIFEPAK 1000 was deployed on board the Space Station in the same device configuration used by professional emergency responders.