Kris interviewed for "Extreme Medicine and the New Normal" in the AAMC Reporter

In April 2014, the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) interviewed Kirs about extreme environmental medicine and aerospace medicine.  Read the entire article here.

From deep space to the inner workings of the cell, scientists have overcome skepticism, even ridicule, in pushing medicine to its extreme.
While space flight has not yet crossed the threshold from extreme to routine, that day may soon arrive. Virgin Galactic already has received deposits from approximately 700 people who wish to become astronauts—more than the total number who have been in space to date. And these people likely are not as fit, physically or emotionally, as professional astronauts.

“We tell our students to think about the challenges of having humans spending not only long periods of time in space but traveling long distances in space,” said Kris Lehnhardt, M.D., assistant professor of emergency medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

For a physician en route to Mars, it could take 20 minutes to get a voice message to Earth. And even basic supplies such as IV fluids are scarce in space. Until scientists find solutions—such as recycled bodily fluids—spaceships so far have the capacity to carry enough IV fluid for just one or two days.

Explorers historically have overcome challenges of extreme travel, expanding our vision of what is possible. Lehnhardt noted that when the Wright brothers flew their first aircraft, widespread sentiment was that planes might be useful as mail carriers, but not much else. Today, he said, visionaries see humans populating the moon and beaming solar power to earth, describing what he called “just a few of the grandiose ideas of what space flight may hold for the future.”
— AAMC Reporter