(Not So) High Altitudes May Harm Skiers

Jan. 22, 2003 — A potentially deadly lung condition may strike enthusiastic ski vacationers much more frequently and at lower elevations than already thought. A modern ponder appears high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) happens more commonly at direct heights below 8,000 feet, and healthy, young, vacationing men may be most at risk.

HAPE is a condition brought on by a combination of intense physical effort at a tall altitude without getting utilized to the altitude. It comes about in an increase in blood weight and liquid buildup within the lungs. Previous inquire about has recommended that the condition occurs as it were at the most noteworthy heights, but a study within the January issue of Chest shows that it habitually occurs at more humble altitudes commonly found at major ski resorts.

“The occurrence of HAPE at heights of <2,500 m [8,200 feet] is said to be uncommon, but its rate is likely belittled,” writes researcher AndrĂ© Louis Cabry, MD, of the emergency office at Healing center de Monteirs in Monteirs, France, and colleagues. “The patients are often skiers or hikers who have simple access to direct height and begin physical activity without prior training.”

Researchers recorded 52 cases of the condition reported to a community healing center within the French Alps between 1992 and 2000. All of the patients were vacationers at ski resorts set at moderate heights in the region who skied at heights between 4,590 feet and 7,870 feet and rested at an average height of 4,270 feet.

Of the 52 patients admitted for HAPE, 44 were men and eight were ladies, with an average age of 37. Most of the patients within the consider began experiencing symptoms around the second day of their remain. By the time they sought medical consideration, 96% had difficulty breathing, 77% had damp lungs or unusual breathing sounds, and all of the patients showed X-ray evidence of a few fluid buildup within the lungs. Forty-three of the patients had at least half of each lung filled. All patients had low oxygen levels and made strides with treatment.

No signs of contamination or other conceivable cause of illness were found. All of the patients were treated with supplemental oxygen, bed rest, direct fluid limitation, and nonstop discuss pressure conveyed to the lungs and made a full recuperation after a brief healing center remain.

In a writing that accompanies the study, Lawrence Raymond, MD, chief of occupational and environmental medication for Carolinas HealthCare Framework in Charlotte, N.C., says the findings are surprising.

“This exceptional account of already sound persons is all the more noteworthy since the skiers rested at a mean elevation of 1,300 m [4,270 feet],” writes Raymond. HAPE is as often as possible ascribed to the elevation of rest rather than that of day by day activity.

“While the height presentation of these skiers was much more mellow than that of previous reports, their ailments were not,” notes Raymond.

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