At DGA your safety has given the first priority. We advise you to read the entire article just to have an idea about mountain sickness are. We want to be sure you know all signs so that it’s easy to cooperate with guides. Make sure to report to your guide once you see any among signs mentioned per each sickness. Do not ignore any unusual body condition, Do not ignore any unusual fillings when at high altitude. Communicate with your guide even in the middle of the night, they know what you.
Altitude Illness/Mountain sickness
High altitude illness occurs between 12,000 and 18,000 feet (3600 meters) and (5400 meters) and Extreme altitude is over 18,000 feet (5,400 meters).
What is high altitude illness?
It is a direct result of the reduced barometric pressure and concentration of oxygen in the air at high elevation.Lower pressure makes the air less dense,so your body gets fewer oxygen molecules with every breath.
High Altitude Illness Prevention/treatment
-Graded ascent is the best and safest method of preventing altitude illness.
-Eat foods that are high in carbohydrates and low in fat, and stay well hydrated.
-Acetazolamide (Diamox) is a prescription medication that may help prevent altitude illness when used early before biggin the climb to the high altitude OR when used in conjunction with the graded ascent.Diamox works by increasing the respiratory rate,which is especially beneficial while your asleep.
The dose is 150 mg twice a day.
Caution: Consult your physician because Diamox can cause an allergic reaction in susceptible individuals and produce numbness and tingling in the hands and feet.
At what point your guide will make hard decision?
-Progress of symptoms despite the rest at the same altitude, or the loss of coordination, having trouble with balance and unable to walk straight line heel to toe, as if your were drunk.
Acute Mountain Sickness
It is common to travelers who ascend rapidly to altitudes above 7,000 feet.
-The sufferer experiences a headache,difficulty sleeping,loss of appetite and nausea.
-The early signs may be swelling of face and hands. Children are generally more susceptible than adults.
Acute Mountain sickness prevention/treatment
-Do not go higher until the symptoms have completely resolved.
-Acetaminophen may be administered (tylenol) 650 to 1000 mg or Ibuprofen (motrin) 400 to 600 mg for headache.
-Acetazolamide (Diamox can be administered 250 mg.
-Avoid sleeping pills
High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE)
Signs and Symptoms of HACE
One or more of the following could be observed from the victim
-Loss of Coordination
-Confusion,inappropriate behavior,hallucinations, stupor or coma.
-Transient blindness,partial paralysis or loss of sensation on one side of the body may occur.
-Severe headache unrelieved by Tylenol.
How to treat HAPE?
-Acetazolamide may be administered (Diamox), 250 mg.
-Hyperbaric changer (Gamow bag) may be helpful in mitigating the effects of HAPE or HACE. It is used by placing the victim inside, zippered shut.
High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE)
It usually begins the first two to four days of ascent to high altitudes,Most common on the second night.
Signs and symptoms of HAPE
The victims can experience one or more of the following
-Cyanosis (a bluish colour of the lips and nails indicating poor oxygenation of the blood) may be present.
-The victim looks anxious,restless and has arapid of bounding pulse.
-Initially the victim may notice marked breathlessness with a minor exertion and develop a dry ,hacking cough.
-As a greater amount of fluid collecting in the lungs,the victim develop increasing shortness of breath,even while resting and cough that may produce frothy sputum.
High Altitude Pulmonary Edema treatment
-IMMEDIATE DESCENT: of at least 3000 feet (1000 meters) this is until the victim shows signs of considerable improvement is the most important treatment.Do not wait,waiting could prove to be fatal.
-Administer oxygen four to six liters-per-minute,if available.
-The use of the Gamow bag,may be beneficial when the victim can not be immediately evacuated to a lower altitude.
-Nifedipine (Procardia) may be helpful for HAPE.The dose is 10 to 20 mg.Every 8 hours.
What is hypothermia?
Hypothermia is a medical emergency that occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat,causing a dangerously low body temperature. Normal body temperature is around 98.6 F(37 C).Hypothermia occurs as your body temperature falls below 95 F (37 C).
-The temperature down to 90 F (32 C) is considered mild to moderate hypothermia,while the temperature below this indicate profound or severe hypothermia.
-When the body temperature falls below 83 F.,the heart becomes very irritable and prone to lethal irregularities, such as ventricular fibrillation.
- The death from hypothermia is likely to occur at around 75 to 80 F. For a child it is,57 F.
How does the body lose heat?
-Radiation:This is a direct heat lose for a warm body to a cooler environment.
Protective clothing, a hat and scarf or neck gaiter,will help prevent this heat lose.
-Conduction: This is a heat lost when the body is physical in contact with cooler surface.
Insulating someone from the ground will help prevent this type of heat lose.
-Convection:It is a heat lost by air movement circulating around the body and depends on the velocity of wind (wind chill factor).
Prevention-windproof clothing and shelter will help reduce this type of heat lose.
-Evaporation:This kind of heat lose happens when sweat or water evaporates or dries on your skin,it cools the body.
Prevention-Use vapor barrier liner under the clothing.
There are two types of Hypothermia
Mild Hypothermia-At 95 F. A victim enters the zone of mild hypothermia.
Profound Hypothermia-At 90 F.A victim is profoundly hypothermic.
Timing of Vaccines
Vaccines should be six weeks prior to departure.
It is the only vaccine required in certain countries.
Yellow fever is a viral illness spread by mosquitoes in parts of Africa and South America.
When traveling to areas requiring yellow fever vaccine ( a yellow”short card” or International Certificate of Vaccination should be current and carried with your other valuable papers.
-Polio,Diphtheria,Measles,Mumps and Rubella.
-The vaccine is only recommended to travelers going to an area with a known epidemic. An immunity is acquired six day after vaccination and is effective for only six months.
-The risk of contracting cholera is low for most travelers.
-It is an infection of the bloodstream by a parasite transmitted to humans through the bite of Anopheles mosquito.
The best way is to avoid mosquitoes.
-By the help of the most effective repellents which contain up to 35% DEET (N-N) diethyl-toluamide).
-Spraying or soaking clothing and bed nets with Permethrin and letting them air dry before use is also very helpful.
How to prevent Malaria
-There is no anti malaria drug which is absolutely effective.
A traveler can still develop the disease regardless of how many medications they take.
-Better consult your physician about the best medication to take with you
It is a very common mosquito -transmitted viral infection.It is now endemic in Africa.
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