Commentary

Prevention and Treatment of High Altitude Sickness


 

Bottom Line

High altitude illness has become a more common concern with increasing global travel. Prevention is paramount, with emphasis on slow ascent. Acetazolamide and dexamethasone may be considered for prevention and treatment of acute mountain sickness and HACE, with nifedipine considered for prevention and treatment of HAPE.

References

• Luks, A.M., McIntosh, S.E., et al. Wilderness Medical Society consensus guidelines for the prevention and treatment of acute altitude illness. Wilderness Environ. Med. 2010;21:146-55.

• Luks, A.M., Swenson, E.R.. Medication and Dosage Considerations in the Prophylaxis and Treatment of High-Altitude Illness. Chest 2008;133:744-55.

Dr. Vaughan is a first-year resident in the family medicine residency program at Abington (Pa.) Memorial Hospital. Dr. Skolnik is an associate director of the family medicine residency program at Abington Memorial Hospital.

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