The Online Newsletter of the SFI/STARFLEET Medical Corps

As stated earlier, HYPOSPRAY—Newsletter of the STARFLEET Medical Corps, is a blog managed by members of the STARFLEET Medical Corps.  HYPOSPRAY is one way that members of the STARFLEET Medical Corps and other like-minded STARFLEET members can exchange community health promotion and home safety ideas and information with each other.

If a STARFLEET Medical Corps member and any member of STARFLEET International serving in a health/medical capacity in her/his assigned region wishes to offer a submission for consideration please see the details contained in the document at the following link:  HYPOSPRAY — Description of publication 2-20-2015


Year 2016, No. 4 (July-August)

August 1, 2016

Topics:  Hepatitis Day; Water Safety Tips; ST: “Dermal Regenerators;” Wanted–Organ Donors; Health Literacy I & II; Top Ten Episodes; Short Comments

Topic #1. Hepatitis Day

Joint Statement from STARFLEET Medical Corps and STARFLEET Marines—Medical Section

World Hepatitis Day, 2016
July 28, 2016

On 28 July World Hepatitis Day (WHD) brings the world together to raise awareness of the huge burden of viral hepatitis and to influence real change in disease prevention and access to testing, treatment and care.

One of just four disease-specific global awareness days officially recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO), WHD unites patient organizations, governments and the general public to boost the global profile of hepatitis.

What is hepatitis?

Hepatitis is caused by infection of one of five viruses – hepatitis A, B, C, D or E. All hepatitis viruses can cause inflammation of the liver.

Viral Hepatitis: A Global Perspective (from the CDC)

Worldwide, viral hepatitis is among the top 10 infectious disease killers with more than one million people dying each year from chronic viral hepatitis. These deaths are primarily from cirrhosis or liver cancer caused by hepatitis B and hepatitis C. In fact, chronic hepatitis B and chronic hepatitis C cause approximately 80% of the world’s liver cancer.

Many of those who are chronically infected are unaware of their infection. People can live with chronic viral hepatitis for decades before having symptoms or feeling sick. So even though a person has no symptoms and may appear healthy, damage to their liver can still be occurring.

The good news is hepatitis A and hepatitis B can be prevented with safe, effective vaccine. Over the last several decades in the U.S., there has been more than a 90% decrease in hepatitis A cases, and many experts believe this decline is due to vaccination of children and people at risk for hepatitis A. In many parts of the world, widespread infant vaccination programs have led to a decrease in new cases of hepatitis B. There is currently no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C, but research is ongoing.

What can be done to prevent hepatitis?

Discuss with your health care provider your risk for Hepatitis and what you can do.

Refer to the World Health Organization for more details:

Topic #2. Some Water Safety Tips for the Summer

Submitted by
BGEN Steven Parmley
Fire Commissioner, STARFLEET Medical Corps
STARFLEET International (Marine Corps), SFMD

I found these water safety tips from the American Red Cross which I want to share with you and your family (see below):

Water Safety Tips in a Public Settings-

  • Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • Always swim with a buddy.
  • If you go boating, wear a life jacket!

Water Safety Tips in and around the home-

  • Install and use barriers around home pool or hot tub.
  • Actively supervise children whenever around the water.
  • Always stay within arm’s reach of young children and avoid distractions.
  • Reach or throw aid to distressed swimmers – don’t go!
  • Keep toys not in use away from the pool and out of sight.

Enjoy the Summer! Be Safe!

Source: American Red Cross. “Fact Sheet: Water Safety Tips.” [H21309]

Topic #3. Star Trek ‘Dermal Regenerator’ Coming Soon? NASA Devices Could Mean the End of Stitches

Submitted By
FCAPT Denise Rush
SG Deputy Chief Ops, STARFLEET Medical Corps
STARFLEET International, SFMD

Star Trek has once again shown the way when it comes to inspiring the latest real-life technology. In addition to influencing the invention of tablet computers and many other modern devices, as previously covered by Mental Floss, a key device in television’s most celebrated science fiction saga may soon become a reality with a new line of non-invasive medical biotechnology from NASA.

According to the entry on the official Star Trek wiki Memory Alpha, the dermal regenerator is “a common, easily operable medical tool” used to treat “minor skin wounds, such as cuts and burns” without scarring. The regenerator “could also be used to revert surgically modified skin to its normal state.”

In a recent press release, NASA announced that it has signed two patent license agreements with the Texas-based company GRoK Technologies LLC for a new line of machines able to speed up the healing process using laser light. GRoK’s BioReplicates device will create 3D human tissue models for drug and cosmetic testing for safety, efficacy and toxicity, while its Scionic device will be used to treat musculoskeletal pain and inflammation externally, without the use of drugs. The Russian Federal Space Agency (RKA) already uses a similar device called a Scenar.

The resulting combined process would be similar to dermal regenerators from Star Trek. It is hoped that future models will help rebuild cells in the body and could one day heal wounds instantly.
NASA hopes that the BioReplicates device could help reduce industry reliance on animal testing for medicines and consumer products. NASA states it is interested in the potential of these devices to regenerate bone and muscle tissue, since astronauts who are in space for long periods of time are prone to developing ostopenia, a condition that causes the loss of muscle and bone density. The two devices may soon come into use on the International Space Station.

NASA states in the release that it hopes the new tech will lead to the “development of medical devices designed to target musculoskeletal pain and inflammation in humans and animals noninvasively and without the use of pharmaceuticals.”

GRoK’s founder and CEO Moshe Kushman was quoted as saying that such advances in non-invasive biotechnology are not merely the stuff of authors’ imaginations and shows like Star Trek anymore.
“The GRoK team is delighted we are now a NASA licensee with the opportunity to bring forward into the commercial sector technologies that have the capacity to improve the lives of people everywhere,” explained Kushman in the NASA press release. “It’s not just science fiction anymore. All indications are that 21st century life sciences will change dramatically during the next several decades, and GRoK is working to define the forefront of a new scientific wave.”

Though it will be a while before the public sees this technology widely available, this proves that machines with the ability to create 3D human cells and treat pain externally have been invented and are possible to produce. The new, patented technologies are the results of NASA’s Technology Transfer Program. But will this miraculous technology be made publicly available? Never fear, NASA says.
“NASA’s Technology Transfer Program ensures that technologies developed for missions in exploration and discovery are broadly available to the public,” the release stated.

Source: Andrew Galbreath – http://www.inquisitr.com/2837270/star-trek-dermal-regenerator-coming-soon-nasa-devices-could-means-the-end-of-stitches/#dMQ3CPc4Ys8v4uO7.99

Topic #4.  Wanted – Organ Donors

Submitted By
CMDR Amanda “Panda” Barrow
SG Deputy Chief – Admins, STARFLEET Medical Corps
STARFLEET International, SFMD

Depending on which set of statics you choose to interrogate, the picture painted for those waiting for a transplant is still bleak. In the UK alone, for the period 01.04.15 – 31.03.16, 2035 Kidney transplant operations went ahead as compared with 1881 for the previous period.*

What does actually mean? Should we measure this in terms of a life saved or a life lost?

Recently, I had the pleasure to meet up with a fellow Trekki, he told his amazing story at length at our Region 20 Summit in 2015. It is not a story I am likely to forget very easily, nor indeed will those present. And in this particular case both the recipient and the donor’s families this can only be viewed as a very precious gift

Yesterday he posted in our Office of the Assistant Surgeon General STARFLEET Medical, Region 20 SFI Facebook group:

“As I’m not going to have access to Facebook for a couple of weeks after today, just want to say thank you to my young donor and his family who gave me my life back on the 23rd / 24th July 2012 by giving me his kidney and pancreas. If you haven’t already, please sign the organ donor register, whichever country you are reading this from. Please, don’t let your organs die with you, give someone else the gift of life.”

Under normal circumstances, the gift of organ is normally associated with the passing of a donor. Yet this is not entirely the whole picture. In the case of a kidney, it is quite possible to donate one of your kidneys whilst you are still alive. Interestingly, one of the tests that you have to undergo prior to donation is to have an ultrasound scan to actually check you have two kidneys. Around one in 1,000 people are born with only one kidney.

Today, the operation to remove the kidney is via ‘key-hole’ surgery and takes around 3-4 hours to perform, and the healing process can be anywhere from two – twelve weeks.
To find out more about the process, the pre-tests that a potential donor has to undergo can be found at the The donor operation: before, during and after **

External Sources and References
* NHS Organ and Donation Transplant Activity as at 8th April 2016
* NHS Organ Donation
** Give a Kidney, One’s Enough

Topic #5. Health Literacy: What is it? Why should I care? (Part I)

Dr Gregory Fant, PhD, MSHS
SG, STARFLEET Medical Corps
COL, STARFLEET International (Marine Corps), SFMD

LGEN Oliver Savander, Sr
SG Senior Advisor-Operations, STARFLEET Medical Corps
STARFLEET International (Marine Corps), SFMD

We are in the middle of summer, now, and the school year will begin in a few weeks.  Keeping well and staying well are ideals and actions I can take to further enjoyment of the summer and prepare for the next season of the year.

Keeping well and staying well depend of my understanding of health literacy.  Please let us share some information which we found:

Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.

Health literacy is dependent on individual and systemic factors:

• Communication skills of lay persons and professionals
• Lay and professional knowledge of health topics
• Culture
• Demands of the healthcare and public health systems
• Demands of the situation/context

Health literacy affects people’s ability to:

• Navigate the healthcare system, including filling out complex forms and locating providers and services
• Share personal information, such as health history, with providers
• Engage in self-care and chronic-disease management
• Understand mathematical concepts such as probability and risk

Health literacy includes numeracy skills.  For example, calculating cholesterol and blood sugar levels, measuring medications, and understanding nutrition labels all require math skills.  Choosing between health plans or comparing prescription drug coverage requires calculating premiums, co-pays, and deductibles.

In addition to basic literacy skills, health literacy requires knowledge of health topics.  Without this knowledge, it may be difficult to understand the relationship between lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise and various health outcomes.

Source: Fact Sheet: Health Literacy Basics. In “Quick Guide to Health Literacy” by US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

Topic #6. Health Literacy: Prevention of Kidney Stones (Part II)

LGEN Oliver Savander, Sr
SG Senior Advisor-Operations, STARFLEET Medical Corps
STARFLEET International (Marine Corps), SFMD

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of adults with diagnosed kidney disease is about 4.5 million persons, and this represents about 1.9% of US adults are diagnosed with kidney disease. Kidney disease is the 9th leading cause of death among adults (1).  Kidney stones are one of the most common disorders of the urinary tract.  Each year in the United States, people make more than a million visits to health care providers and more than 300,000 people go to emergency rooms for kidney stone problems. (2)

A NASA Report on the formation of kidney stones among astronauts found that (3):

The formation of renal stones poses an in-flight health risk of high severity, not only because of the impact of renal colic on human performance, but also because of complications that could possibly require crew evacuation such as hematuria, infection, and hydronephrosis. Evidence for risk factors comes from urine analyses of crewmembers documenting changes to the urinary environment that are conducive to increased saturation of stone-forming salts – the driving force for nucleation and growth of a stone nidus. Furthermore, renal stones have been documented in astronauts after return to earth and in one cosmonaut during flight. Biochemical analysis of urine specimens provided indications of hypercalciuria and hyperuricemia, reduced urine volumes, and increased urine saturation of calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate. A major contributor to the risk for renal stone formation is bone atrophy with increased turnover of the bone minerals. Dietary and fluid intakes also play major roles in the risk because of the influence on urine pH (more acidic) and volume (lower). Specific assessments in Skylab crewmembers indicated that calcium excretion increased early in flight (by 10 days) and almost exceeded the upper threshold for normal excretion (i.e., 300 mg/day in males) in some crewmembers during Skylab missions. Other crewmember data documented reduced intake of fluid and reduced intake of potassium, phosphorus and magnesium in the diet. Hence, data from both short-duration and long-duration missions indicate that space travel induces risk factors for renal stone formation that continue to persist after flight; this risk has been documented by reported kidney stones in crewmembers.

The executive summary from the above report suggested to me that I consider how kidney stones might be prevented.  The Mayo Clinic (online) states that the prevention of kidney stones may involve medication and lifestyle changes (4).  Lifestyle changes includes changes in diet such as increasing the consumption of water and changing the diet.  A medical provider will be able to provide additional information on treatment and prevention options.

(1) CDC “Fast Facts: Kidney Disease 2013.”
(2) Urinary tract stones. In: Litwin MD, Saigal CS, eds. Urologic Diseases in America. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office; 2012. NIH publication 12–7865.
(3) NASA. March 2008. Evidence Book-Risk of Renal Stone Formation [HRP-47060]. Houston, TX: LBJ Space Center, NASA.
(4) Mayo Clinic Staff. 2016. “Kidney Stones: Prevention.” Accessed: July 16, 2016. URL: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/kidney-stones/basics/prevention/CON-20024829

Topic #7. Newsweek’s Top Ten Episodes from ST:Voyager

Summarized by:
Dr. Gregory Fant, PhD, MSHS
Member, STARFLEET International, and Flight Surgeon, USS Tiberius/R2.

In the first edition of this journal (blog), I shared a “Top 10” list of episodes from ST:TOS. In recognition of the 50th Anniversary of “Star Trek,” I share a similar “Top 10” list of episodes from “Star Trek: Voyager:”

1. “Year of Hell,” S4/E8 & E9.
2. “Equinox,” S5/E26.
3. “Deadlock,” S2/E21.
4. “Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy,” S6/E4.
5. “Endgame,” S7/E25 & E26.
6. “Hope and Fear,” S4/E26.
7. “Worst Case Scenario,” S3/E25.
8. “Living Witness” S4/E23.
9. “Scorpion,” S3/E26 & S4/E1.
10. “Blink of an Eye,” S6/E12.

There is more about “Star Trek” in this Newsweek Special magazine.  Look for it.  Enjoy!

Source: Baker, T (ed). 2015. Newsweek Special Edition–Star Trek 50 Years. New York: Topix Media Lab.


1. STARFLEET Medical Corps Recognition: Member recognitions have been posted to the STARFLEET Medical website until the SFI Mbr Dbf can accept these actions. We will retain records and transfer to SFI Mbr Dbf when it has been repaired for these and related actions.

2. STARFLEET Medical Corps has purchased space in the 2016 IC Program to welcome SFI members, describe what we do, and honor Wayne.

3. Did you see this? Build-a-Bear has a “Star Trek 50th Anniversary Special” (URL: http://www.buildabear.com/shopping/search/Star_Trek/g/).   If you know of others, please let us know using the “Contact Us” form.

4. Are you interested in purchasing a jacket from JCP with the STARFLEET Medical Corps logo on it? This is a joint activity with STARFLEET Marines-Medical Section and STARFLEET Medical Corps.

The new logo will go on the “right breast” so there is space on the “left breast” for your name tag. The logo currently can be embroidered for $15 (USD) but this amount comes down depending on the number ordered. For STARFLEET Medical Corps members in the US “add” US Mail Flat Rate Box shipping. For members outside US, we’ll ship via US Mail, as well. We’ll find a least expensive way to do this.

If you are interested, please let us know using the “Contact Us” form.  Be sure to provide your name, jacket size, and confirm that you will purchase the jacket with new logo.

Please respond before the end of September 2016. Thanks.

This is a great idea from STARFLEET Marines-Medical Section….it’s great working with other SFI members.


Annual compilation here:  Grand Rounds–Submission Compilation for 2015 GF 11-10-2015