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Physiological Effects of high altitude?
- -lightheadedness, headache (6 up)
- -insomnia, pulmonary distress, vomiting (11 up)
- -breathing difficulty, anorexia, GI problems (13 up)
- -lethargy, general weakness (19 up) (18 is highest habitation)
- -impending collapse (25 up)
@15k Ft, 75% sat
How does body adapt to high altitude in the short term?
- Short Term:
- -respiratory alkalosis
- -increased urinary output (secrete bicarb)
- -increased cardiac output
- -pulmonary hypertension (blood is being shunted away from hypoxic areas...pulmonary vessels constrict)
How does the body adapt to high altitude in the long term?
- (weeks to months, really 6 months)
- -increased EPO, increased hematocrit (RBCs)
- -increased 2,3 BPG
- -increased myoglobin
- -pulmonary hypertension, RV hypertrophy (some)
- -increased mitochondria
- -increase capillaries in skeletal muscle
Acute Mountain Sickness?
- -headache, nausea, lethargy/apathy, coordination, confusion...see it around 8000 feet
- -Lake Louise Score helps diagnose severity of Acute Mountain Sickness, 3-5 is mild
Treatment of AMS?
- -acclimate (3-4 days)
- -drugs to speed up the process - diuretics to speed up bicarb excretion - Diamox**
- -steroids (for severe AMS)
- -supplemental 02
- -pain meds
- High altitude pulmonary edema...arise from the pulmonary hypertension
- -short of breath at rest, wheezing, crackles**
- treatment: descend*, Ca-channel blockers, steroids, vasodialators (viagra) to prevent the hypertension, supplemental O2
- High altitude cebrebral edema
- -confusion ataxia, coordination impairment
- treatment: descend!, dex a Ca-channlel blocker, supplemental O2, gamow bag
What are the operational considerations to high altitiude missions?
- -sleep (train high, sleep low)
- -cold weather gear
- -physical fitness
- -turn around times