Podcast #40: Altitude Sickness - The Emergency Medical Minute

Podcast #40: Altitude Sickness

Run Time: 2 minutes

Author: Dr. Brent Levyaltitude_sickness

Educational Pearls:

  • Altitude sickness occurs on a spectrum, usually starting over 5000 feet above sea level. The minor presentation, Acute Mountain Sickness, includes headache and flu-like illness.
  • High Altitude Pulmonary Edema is the more severe presentation, which includes severe hypoxia and shortness of breath and upon evaluation. This occurs in people who go from sea-level to above about 8000 feet.
  • High Altitude Cerebral Edema, is the most severe presentation. This occurs mostly above 15000 feet.
  • Treatment is supportive, usually just the provision of oxygen and a decrease in altitude.

References: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000133.htm


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