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Procainamide hydrochloride capsules will be in the astronauts' medical accessory kit for the first time when Apollo XVI heads for the moon in March...
An anti-arrhythmia agent is being added because of experiences during the Apollo XV moon flight last summer, when a few premature ventricular contractions were registered by Col James B. Irwin, and a few auricular contractions by Col David R. Scott. Monitors on Col Irwin also registered what was interpreted to be brief nodal bigeminy.
Dr. Berry emphasizes that, although these premature contractions were occasionally noted in Cols Scott and Irwin during preparations for the July-August 1971 mission, so far none have been seen in the Apollo XVI crewmen.
The only other cardiac rhythm abnormality recorded during a United States space mission was during the Mercury orbital mission of Col. John H. Glenn, Jr., ten years ago.
Training for the forthcoming Apollo XVI mission includes instruction about the nature of premature contractions and how to use the procainamide hydrochloride capsules with medical advice.[/i]
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