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Altitude Sickness

Altitude Sickness

Altitude Sickness

Altitude Sickness occurs at high altitude. The decrease in atmospheric pressure makes difficult to breathe due to less oxygen. Mainly, it happen above 3300m(10,000ft). This is the most dangerous hazard that threatens trekkers. Every year, more trekkers are victims of altitude sickness because they do not take care of themselves properly when in the mountains.

Signs and symptoms

  • Headache/Dizziness
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • tiredness/fatigue and Delirious
  • Sleepy but can’t sleep
  • Drunken Gait
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Slight soiling of hands and face
  • Reduce urine output

Prevention

Trekkers must be prepared and understand the symptoms. Also, there are things you can do to help prevent altitude sickness. They are the following:

  • Acclimatize properly
  • Do not make a rapid ascent
  • Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills and smoking
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Do not carry more than 10 kg
  • Climb higher sleep lower
  • Over 3000m ascend 330m a day
  • Never travel alone

Treatment

  • Descend
  • Provide oxygen canisters
  • Gamow bags
  • Diamox pills (125g) before dinner

Four Golden Rules

These are the rules to prevent altitude sickness:

  1. Be aware of altitude sickness symptoms. If you start to have symptoms, try a prevention method
  2. If you have mild symptoms do not proceed higher.
  3. If symptoms worsen descend immediately
  4. Do not leave your team member behind unattended.