My daughter and I were looking at the readouts above beds in Sickbay. There are measurements for Temp, Brain, Lungs and other things that are very familiar. But what could Cell Rate possibly refer to? Is it something only relevant to non-human patients?

sickbay gauges, that show Temp (F/C), Brain (Ks), Lungs, Cell Rate, Blood (Q^5), Blood T^2

An alternative explanation: space anemia that destroys blood cells at an accelerated rate

  • 9
    It's the rate that cells y'know, cell - memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Cell_rate
    – Valorum
    Jan 13, 2022 at 14:50
  • 1
    One way to generate possible (but unsupported) answers is to type “rate of cellular” into a web search tool and look at the completion suggestions. Cellular respiration rate and cellular reproduction rate are two likely possibilities. Also cellular metabolism. Out of universe, it could have been something someone saw on some medical report or in some study that they abbreviated and stuck on there. Jan 13, 2022 at 16:45
  • Rate of cellular regeneration, possibly. Jan 13, 2022 at 17:25
  • 1
    Remember, this originally aired in the 1960s before people could record TV shows and over analyze them. The fact that they actually had legible writing there instead of just some sort of blur that looked like writing on a fuzzy 60s standard def TV screen is pretty amazing in and of itself.
    – FreeMan
    Jan 13, 2022 at 17:34
  • @FreeMan Sort of like the petticoats that Selznick had the actresses in Gone With The Wind wear...
    – Spencer
    Jan 13, 2022 at 18:46

1 Answer 1


According to the Star Fleet Medical Reference Manual, the 'cell rate' is the

partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the respiratory system in mmHg [millimeters of mercury]

For reference, the other indicators show

  • Respiration [self-explanatory]
  • Pulse [self-explanatory]
  • Temperature - Displays the body skin temperature in degrees Celsius and Fahrenheit (°C and °F)
  • Brain K3 - Displays the electrical activity of the brain - extreme activity may indicate high levels of pain
  • Lungs - Displays the vital capacity of the lungs in liters (dm3), for use in diagnosing pulmonary disease
  • Cell Rate - Displays the partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the respiratory system (PC0₂ in mmHg), for use in determining the degree of stimulus of the respiratory system and the oxygen/CO₂ exchange rate at the air/blood interface in the lungs (lack of CO₂ seriously impairs the breathing operation)
  • Blood Q⁵; Displays the heart activity, notably its electrical stimulus (beat), which is actually two pumping actions (in count/minute)
  • Blood T²×10 - Displays the mean diastolic blood pressure (in mmHg), for use in diagnosing hyper or hypotension.

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