The Long-Term Health of the Rescued Chilean Miners
As the last Chilean miner has been rescued, the 33 men were welcomed as national heroes and set a world record for survival underground. The men, who were trapped underground since August 5, were in†surprisingly†good condition. In fact, the immediate needs only included two cases of dental problems and one case of a pre-existing lung disease. Other minor problems include fungal infections, eye problems, and collapsed lungs.
As the men were brought up from the mine, they kept their dark glasses on to protect their eyes from the sunlight, which they haven’t seen in over 2 months. Not seeing natural light for this long can tamper with the biological clocks and sleep cycles, so it’s likely that the miners will face difficulties†in adjusting to a†regular†sleep routine.
Some medical professionals also caution that the miners may face some emotional problems down the line. Post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and flashbacks are also obstacles the miners may face 6 months or more from now. In the meantime however, the miners are overjoyed to have been rescued and back with their families. And, while emotional stress will be part of the healing process, the miners have much to look forward to.
None of the miners intend to return to their old jobs for obvious reasons, but the good news is that they have received an overwhelming number of gifts and invitations, including book offers, advertising deals, film contracts, and other miscellaneous jobs. As the miners slowly return to their normal lives, they pass on their shifts and pray that no other miners will encounter this tragedy.
Image c/o Alex Ibanez/AP