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Acute Mountain Sickness – Effect of Barometric Pressure on the Pulmonary System

by Thad Wilson, PhD
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    00:00 So let’s start out with acute mountain sickness, what is this? Some of the symptoms that are involved with acute mountain sickness include headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, insomnia and all these things usually occur pretty quickly within the first 12 hours.

    00:17 But they should resolve themselves within about 24 to 48 hours.

    00:25 The pathophysiology of acute mountain sickness is not understood to a full degree yet, but I think it’s probably related to hypoxia and how that hypoxia is related to alkalosis.

    00:40 So remember that in order or when you respond to hypoxia, you increase ventilation.

    00:46 As you increase ventilation, you blow off CO2.

    00:49 As you blow off CO2, you start to cause yourself a respiratory alkalosis.

    00:57 Also, you’d have to keep in mind is acute mountain sickness can sometimes progress to mild cerebral edema.

    01:06 Therefore, it could be related to high altitude cerebral edema, which could be life-threatening.

    01:12 What can you do about acute mountain sickness? Well, there’s some treatment and prevention possibilities, prevention is most likely by gradually ascending to that mountain environment.

    01:24 This may involve things like going up and setting up a base camp, returning back to another camp, then setting up a camp higher than that and moving back down again, gradually ascending to these new high altitudes.

    01:38 If that’s not possible, there are some pharmacology agents that might be able to help.

    01:43 Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors sometimes will work because what that does is it helps you respond to that alkalosis.

    01:50 But the biggest thing is is if you’re having symptoms and you can’t get rid of them, it is descending down to a normobaric environment.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Acute Mountain Sickness – Effect of Barometric Pressure on the Pulmonary System by Thad Wilson, PhD is from the course Respiratory Physiology.


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Acetazolamide
    2. Nifedipine
    3. Captopril
    4. Omeprazole
    5. Atropine
    1. Hypoxia
    2. Anemia
    3. Acidosis
    4. Hypercarbia

    Author of lecture Acute Mountain Sickness – Effect of Barometric Pressure on the Pulmonary System

     Thad Wilson, PhD

    Thad Wilson, PhD


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