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Saturday, April 9, 2011

CHRONIC MOUNTAIN SICKNESS

This is due to alveolar hypo ventilation and chronic hypoxia brought about by inappropriate polycythaemia,
and may affect highlanders as well as acclimatised lowlanders. People with sickle cell disease, are at risk of infarction at 2000m, Which is equivalent to the pressure in a commercial airliner flying at 11000m. Hetero zygotes can normally tolerate altitude of 3000m or more. Patients with myocardial disease should not ascend rapidly above 2000m.
Clinical features
These include cyanosis, cardiac failure, pulmonary hypertension and neuropsychiatric symptoms.
Management
Chronic mountain sickness is treated by taking the patient down to sea level.

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