Medicine: Red Cell Mystery

The experiments on the Air Force nurses shed no new light on a major medical mystery of the space age, which was described last week by Physician-Astronaut Joseph Kerwin: loss of 6% to 20% of the body's red blood cells in space and a delay in replacing them after returning to earth. "The plasma starts going immediately,"e; Kerwin told the American Academy of Pediatrics in Chicago, "and the red blood cells follow." Kerwin, who was responsible for medically monitoring his mates on Skylab 1, also found that loss of blood fluid—and muscle tissue—was...

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