Diseases of high terrestrial altitudes

Andrew J. Pollard, Buddha Basnyat and David R. Murdoch

in Oxford Textbook of Medicine

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780199204854
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199570973 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbooks

Diseases of high terrestrial altitudes

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Ascent to altitudes above 2500 m leads to exposure to hypobaric hypoxia. This affects performance on first arrival at high altitude and disturbs sleep, but physiological changes occur over time to defend arterial and tissue oxygenation and allow the individual to adjust. This process of acclimatization includes (1) an increase in the rate and depth of breathing; and (2) an increase in red cell mass, and in red cell 2,3-diphosphoglycerate. Acclimatization is no longer possible at extreme altitude (>5800 m) and the exposed individual will gradually deteriorate....

Chapter.  5141 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Occupational Medicine

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