Development of an Emergency Medical Services Plan for Commercial Spaceflight Events in Spaceport America


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INTRODUCTION: Commercial spaceflight is a developing industry. Spaceport America, NM, is the world’s first dedicated commercial spaceport and will be the site of the first suborbital passenger flights in the next few years. Located in a remote area in New Mexico far from major hospitals and trauma centers, Spaceport America will require an emergency medical services (EMS) plan to prepare for and deal with medical emergencies that may arise during commercial spaceflight activities. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this capstone project was to assess Spaceport America’s EMS needs and to develop an EMS plan for commercial spaceflight events in Spaceport America. METHODS: A literature review of medical care at comparable mass gathering events and examination of analogous EMS plans were performed to identify elements in mass gathering medicine and EMS plans. Medical reconnaissance of Spaceport America was done to predict patient presentation and hospital transport rates and identify local and regional medical resources. Guided by these elements, an EMS plan was written to address potential medical contingencies among spectators during commercial spaceflight events in Spaceport America. CONCLUSION: An evidence-based EMS plan was developed to support future commercial spaceflight events in Spaceport America, tailoring the expected medical needs to the capabilities and constraints in and around the spaceport.



mass gathering medicine, commercial spaceflight