home
RSS
October 11th, 2010
02:13 PM ET

Ascent could bring health risks to miners

Work to rescue 33 miners from a copper mine 2,200 feet below Chile's Atacama Desert is about to take a dramatic turn.

The first miners could be pulled from the mine as early as Tuesday evening.  Chilean Health Minister Jaime Manalich says they are in good spirits and, overall, in very good health. However, some of the men have shown signs of anxiety and some have had minor cardiac issues, Manalich added.

The miners will be switched over to a liquid diet six hours before they begin their trip to the surface in case they vomit on the way up. The rescue capsule will spin as it rises to the surface, possibly causing dizziness and even panic.

MIR astronaut Jerry Linenger knows something about isolation and confinement. He says his five months in space left him weak and with bone loss. "Down in the mines you have gravity pulling you down. There will be disorientation–turning your head will feel like doing 100 backflips in a row," he said.

Chilean Mining Minister Laurence Golborne is concerned about the miners being re-introduced to sunlight abruptly. Special sunglasses have been sent in an effort to make sure the miners don't suffer damage to their retinas.

The miners have been monitored very closely since they were first trapped on August 5.  The miners were given special shirts and shorts that pull sweat away from the body due to concern about skin infections.  They're also wearing special socks that help prevent athlete's foot and other fungal infections. They've even had a series of vaccinations including a tetanus booster and flu shot to help boost their immune systems.

The men have been exercising for an hour a day.  One of the miners, Yonni Barrios, is a paramedic and has been weighing his fellow miners daily, taking  blood tests and doing daily urine analysis.  That information is downloaded to a Palm Pilot that has been sending the information back to the surface so that medics and personal trainers can check to make sure the miners are well.  They have been tailoring the miners' exercise routines to the day's figures.

Dr. Bailus Walker, an environmental and occupational medicine expert at Howard University Medical Center, says one concern is the effect the barometric pressure will have on their bodies as they're brought up. "You'll see muscular aches and pains in the joints called 'the bends' as a result of the decompression. You could see some respiratory difficulties called 'the chokes.' You'll see increased blood pressure, and some lung damage–but the adequate supply of oxygen should keep lung problems at a minimum."

Update:

The bends, also known as decompression sickness, is a painful condition usually seen in deep sea divers surfacing too quickly. It can also occur when descending from high altitudes. Nitrogen bubbles can form in the blood and tissue when the pressure around someone in the air or water changes rapidly.

James Polk, NASA's deputy chief medical officer, says his agency considered decompression sickness but because the miners were at sea level, found the risk to be very low. "We did the calculations. We found the risk was negligible."

The addition of oxygen in the escape module will also decrease the risk for any nitrogen bubble formation, he said.

Experts say psychological adjustments will be a huge factor. "These men spent 20 days totally cut off in the dark until the first bore hole was made," Linenger said. "So they were in survival mode, which is tough psychologically because you are in a life and death situation."

Once out, the miners will be examined on site and hospitalized for a mandatory two days.  During that time  they'll be monitored and receive physical and mental health care. Doctors will keep an eye out for things like nightmares, panic attacks, anxiety and claustrophobia, among other potential issues.


soundoff (902 Responses)
  1. ThomasBot

    canadian pharmacy 24h canada pharmacy 24 hour drug store

    April 3, 2021 at 13:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. EdwardSwogy

    canadian pharmacy mall

    April 3, 2021 at 14:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. CraigZEP

    healthy man viagra

    April 3, 2021 at 14:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. CharlesGlalf

    maxifort online maxifort zimax 100mg

    April 3, 2021 at 15:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. EdwardSwogy

    on line pharmacy

    April 4, 2021 at 03:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. ThomasBot

    canada pharmacy 24 hour drug store canadian online pharmacy

    April 4, 2021 at 03:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. EdwardSwogy

    http://www.skypharmacyreview.com trusted Pharmacy

    April 4, 2021 at 16:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. ThomasBot

    online pharmacy onlinepharmacy

    April 4, 2021 at 16:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. CraigZEP

    healthyman

    April 5, 2021 at 02:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. ThomasBot

    canada pharmacy 24 hour drug store generic cialis online pharmacy reviews

    April 5, 2021 at 05:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. ThomasBot

    onlinepharmacy pacific care pharmacy

    April 5, 2021 at 19:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. CraigZEP

    healthy man pills

    April 5, 2021 at 21:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. EdwardSwogy

    canadian pharmacy online no script

    April 6, 2021 at 07:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. ThomasBot

    canadian pharmacy cialis viagra from usa pharmacy

    April 6, 2021 at 08:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. CraigZEP

    healthy man viagra offer

    April 6, 2021 at 15:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. ThomasBot

    sky pharmacy online drugstore usa pharmacy no script

    April 6, 2021 at 22:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Marvintoing

    canadian health

    April 7, 2021 at 04:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Douglasovefs

    nizagara for sale

    April 7, 2021 at 07:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. LeroyUsese

    best non prescription viagra

    April 7, 2021 at 08:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. ThomasBot

    northwestern canada drugs

    April 7, 2021 at 08:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. ShaneCag

    canadianpharmacymall.net canadianmeds24h is generic viagra safe

    April 7, 2021 at 10:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. RaymondElupt

    on line pharmacy

    April 7, 2021 at 10:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. AbgcEncox

    [url=https://thesiswritingtob.com/]thesiswritingtob.com[/url] who to write a thesis thesiswritingtob.com thesis writing

    April 7, 2021 at 14:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. LeroyUsese

    can i buy viagra without a prescription

    April 7, 2021 at 23:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. ThomasBot

    canadian pharmacy clonidine

    April 7, 2021 at 23:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. ShaneCag

    canadian pharmacy 24hr generic viagra for sale canada buying viagra100brand fromcanadaonline

    April 8, 2021 at 04:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. RaymondElupt

    sky pharmacy online

    April 8, 2021 at 04:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Proxies Private

    I have observed that online degree is getting well-known because accomplishing your degree online has turned into a popular selection for many people. Quite a few people have not had a chance to attend a traditional college or university although seek the elevated earning possibilities and career advancement that a Bachelor's Degree grants. Still others might have a diploma in one discipline but want to pursue one thing they now develop an interest in.

    https://Dreamproxies.com

    April 8, 2021 at 10:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. ShaneCag

    http://www.canadianpharmacymall.net canada pharmacies extra super viagra

    April 8, 2021 at 21:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. RaymondElupt

    canadian pharmacy mall

    April 8, 2021 at 21:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Marvintoing

    healthy man viagra reviews

    April 8, 2021 at 22:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. LeroyUsese

    viagra no prescription

    April 9, 2021 at 03:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. ShaneCag

    canada drug superstore canadian pharmacy clonidine generic viagra uk next day delivery

    April 9, 2021 at 14:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. LeroyUsese

    best prices for prescription viagra

    April 9, 2021 at 17:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. LeroyUsese

    viagra without prescription

    April 10, 2021 at 07:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. ShaneCag

    Canadian Pharmacy Mall canada drug superstore generic viagra 100mg tablets

    April 10, 2021 at 08:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. ShaneCag

    Canadian Pharmacy Mall cheap viagra 100mg to buy in canada can i buy viagra without a prescription

    April 11, 2021 at 01:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. LeroyUsese

    buy viagra pills without prescription

    April 11, 2021 at 10:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. ThomasBot

    canadian pharmacy online cialis

    April 11, 2021 at 12:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Jamesmax

    north american pharmacy supreme suppliers mumbai 400 058 india canadian pharcharmy online pacific care pharmacy viagra 6 free sample canadian pharmacy mall cheap ed meds online ed medicines generic for erectile dysfunction ed medications best ed medication what are the best generic ed drugs online erectile dysfunction medications ed medications compared cheap ed medication ed medications online ed drugs online best erectile dysfunction medication in canada ed drugs meds for ed erectile dysfunction medications sold in canada erectile dysfunction drugs generic ed drugs cheap erectile dysfunction drugs-canada canadian erectile dysfunction drugs ED medication order erectile dysfunction medication generic drugs for erectile dysfunction erectile meds ed drug cost comparison buy erectile dysfunction drugs generic ed medication erectile dysfunction medication prices ed meds on line cheap ed drugs best erectile dysfunction drugs for sale online erectile dysfunction drugs online meds for erectile dysfunction generic ed meds erectile dysfunction drugs canada ed drug best ed drug best deal on ED meds cheap ed meds medication from canada ed erectile dysfunction generic name for ED drugs buy erectile dysfunction drugs online cheap erectile dysfunction medication generic erectile dysfunction medications erectile dysfunction drugs comparison impotence drugs online common drugs for ed generic impotence drugs ed meds cost effective ed drugs canadian erectile dysfunction drugs buy tretinoin cream 0.025 nizagara cheap maxifort zimax mexico

    April 11, 2021 at 15:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. CharlesGlalf

    maxifort zimax 100mg maxifort

    April 11, 2021 at 15:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. BrucePaumn

    cialis online no prescription cialis without a doctors prescription

    April 11, 2021 at 16:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Jamesmax

    cialis canadian pharmacy supreme suppliers canadian pharcharmy online canadian pharmacy 24h online viagra samples 247 overnight pharmacy canadian cheap ed meds online ed medicines generic for erectile dysfunction ed medications best ed medication what are the best generic ed drugs online erectile dysfunction medications ed medications compared cheap ed medication ed medications online ed drugs online best erectile dysfunction medication in canada ed drugs meds for ed erectile dysfunction medications sold in canada erectile dysfunction drugs generic ed drugs cheap erectile dysfunction drugs-canada canadian erectile dysfunction drugs ED medication order erectile dysfunction medication generic drugs for erectile dysfunction erectile meds ed drug cost comparison buy erectile dysfunction drugs generic ed medication erectile dysfunction medication prices ed meds on line cheap ed drugs best erectile dysfunction drugs for sale online erectile dysfunction drugs online meds for erectile dysfunction generic ed meds erectile dysfunction drugs canada ed drug best ed drug best deal on ED meds cheap ed meds medication from canada ed erectile dysfunction generic name for ED drugs buy erectile dysfunction drugs online cheap erectile dysfunction medication generic erectile dysfunction medications erectile dysfunction drugs comparison impotence drugs online common drugs for ed generic impotence drugs ed meds cost effective ed drugs canadian erectile dysfunction drugs order retin a buying nizagara on line buy maxifort

    April 12, 2021 at 05:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. CharlesGlalf

    maxifort online maxifort

    April 12, 2021 at 05:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. BrucePaumn

    order cialis without prescription cialis without a, prescription

    April 12, 2021 at 10:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. LeroyUsese

    generic viagra no prescription

    April 12, 2021 at 15:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. ThomasBot

    north american pharmacy

    April 12, 2021 at 18:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. CharlesGlalf

    maxifort online maxifort 50 mg

    April 12, 2021 at 20:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. LeroyUsese

    real viagra online without prescription

    April 13, 2021 at 05:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. ThomasBot

    sky pharmacy canada

    April 13, 2021 at 08:15 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.