Without a doubt, much has been written about the 33 strong, brave miners, their predicament, and of course, their health.
One by one, the miners, who have been trapped in a gold and copper mine, began to be lifted out of the darkness they have called home since the beginning of August, this Tuesday night.
Considering how they’ve spent their time in immense darkness, their ascent to out of the earth can very much pose a risk to miners if they are re-introduced to sunlight abruptly. Or they could encounter dizziness, panic or minor cardiac issues while being inside the rescue capsule as it spins to the surface.
Dr. Antonios Zikos, the medical director of neuro-intensive care at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh who has treated mining disaster survivors, says that these miners who have been trapped have experienced a variety of unhealthy conditions below ground, such as:
•The additional force of gravity may have affected their circulatory system and immune function.
•Being confined in a small space, without the opportunity to exercise normally, could also cause blood clots and muscle loss.
•Exposure to underground gases, such as carbon monoxide, could also cause cognitive problems, such as memory loss or problems performing basic tasks.
The plan is to rush 33 trapped miners to a hospital in Copiapo, the nearest town, as they ascend from the earth from the capsule. *Read: Chilean hospital prepares for the arrival of 33 trapped miners*
Also noted is the mental health of the miners ,which have been a major concern for Chilean authorities — since once they are extracted, they will have to deal with a certain level of celebrity status.
Dr. Michael Duncan, the deputy chief medical officer at Johnson Space Center, put the grave situation in perspective with this very true statement, “The work is just beginning when the miners get out of the mine.”