Acute Mountain Sickness | Decision Making | Prevention | Treatment Acute Mountain Sickness | Decision Making | Prevention | Treatment

Acute Mountain Sickness

Acute Mountain Sickness

OVERCOMING ALTITUDE PROBLEM

This is often known as Acute Mountain Sickness, which is particularly a matter of important medical consideration while trekking in the Himalayas. Altitude Sickness means the effect of altitude on those who ascend too promptly to elevations above 3,000 meters. Early mountain sickness will manifest itself in headache, shortness of breath, nausea, fatigue, etc. It can be encountered as initials of the sickness. The major information source on the prevention and treatment of the sickness is the Northern Trekking Team. We inform every trekker that all our guides have followed the training conducted by HRA with the understated information.

CAUSE/FACTOR OF ALTITUDE SICKNESS

  • Less Oxygen
  • Low Pressure
  • Rapid Ascent
  • Possible Dehydration

TYPES of ALTITUDE SICKNESS

  • AMS – Acute Mountain Sickness
  • HAPE – High Altitude Pulmonary Edema
  • HACE – High Altitude Cerebral Edema

HIGH ALTITUDE SYMPTOMS

1. ACUTE MOUNTAIN SICKNESS

  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Tiredness
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Sleep disturbance

2. HIGH ALTITUDE PULMONARY EDEMA (Water in lungs)

  • Increasing shortness of breath even at sleeping/rest
  • Severe cough-dry
  • Very tired
  • The high Pulse rate-100
  • The blueness of face, lips, fingernails that means incapability to transport Oxygen into the blood.

3. HIGH ALTITUDE CEREBRAL EDEMA (Water in the head)

  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Walking like a drunk
  • Confusion
  • Irritable
  • Unconsciousness

DECISION MAKING

  • Find out the main problem of altitude.
  • If you find high altitude problem with mild symptoms, stay at the same altitude until the symptoms are completely gone.
  • Take an Aspirin tablet, try to go up but check to your body. If symptoms are worsening, descend at once.
  • If you feel very bad even going down, should be flown up.

PREVENTION

  • Acclimatization: Go hiking up to 2/3 hundred meters above from the place where you’ve stayed.
  • Drink more water 4-5ltrs a day.
  • Always walk slowly.
  • Do not travel alone.
  • No alcohol, No sleeping in the day time, and smoking.
  • Do not carry heavy packs.

TREATMENT

  • Descend is the best medicine; do not wait for the Helicopter.
  • High altitude medicine. (Diamox, before dinner, for a sleeping problem)
  • Gamow Bag.
  • Oxygen.
  • If you have worsening symptoms, descend at once.
  • If you have mild symptoms, do not go higher, stay at the same place until getting better.
  • Do not leave your trek member behind unattended, either trekker or porter.

Mingmar Tamang

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