Post #1 of 6:
The most recent issue of the Wilderness Medicine Newsletter, Nov/Dec 2006, is dedicated to the recognition and management of high altitude illnesses. To follow is a series of postings regarding high altitude illnesses, recognition, and management.
What is High Altitude?
The scientific consensus for the definitions of altitude are:
High altitude: 1500 – 3500m (5000 – 11500ft)
Very High Altitude: 3500 – 5500m (11500 – 18000ft)
Extreme High Altitude: above 5500m (18000ft)
18,000′ (5500m) is ½ atmosphere
What are the RISKS of HIGH ALTITUDE MOUNTAINEERING?
As you go Higher it gets COLDER & DRYER, less and less OXYGEN, and more and more UV LIGHT that combing to CAUSE:
Dehydration (exhale 250cc of water per hour or 6 liters per day)
Hypothermia (may need up to 6000 calories per day)
Frostbite (dehydration contributes to the risk of frostbite)
Snow blindness (UV light concentration increases 4% every 1000′)
Severe sunburn (UV light concentration increases 4% every 1000′)
Acute Mountain Sickness (signs of lack of acclimatization)
High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (wet lungs)
High Altitude Cerebral Edema (wet brain)
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