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High Altitude Extreme Environment

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High Altitude Extreme Environment

  1. 1. High Altitude Extreme Environment By Ileana Pai
  2. 2. Environmental conditions <ul><li>Altitude is defined on the following scale: </li></ul><ul><li>High 8,000 - 12,000 ft. </li></ul><ul><li>Very High 12,000 - 18,000 ft. </li></ul><ul><li>Extremely High 18,000+ ft. </li></ul><ul><li>There are alternating daily extremes of climate change, winds are often strong and humidity low, resulting in rapid dehydration.  Second, the air pressure is lower and humans have difficulty breathing. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Maximum Time Humans Can Cope <ul><li>There is no way to determine the amount of time that a human can survive at a high altitude. Survival is on an individual basis and it all depends on their age, sex, physical condition. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Limits Humans Can Endure <ul><li>Most people can go up to 8,000 feet (2,438 meters) with minimal effect </li></ul><ul><li>People are able to climb higher if their bodies have adjusted to high altitudes </li></ul>
  5. 5. Effects On Humans <ul><li>Immediate Effects: </li></ul><ul><li>Hypervenelation </li></ul><ul><li>Fluid loss </li></ul><ul><li>Increase in heart rate </li></ul><ul><li>Lowered stroke volume </li></ul><ul><li>High blood pressure in the lungs </li></ul><ul><li>Symptoms similar to a really bad hangover </li></ul><ul><li>Longer Term Effects </li></ul><ul><li>Lower lactate production </li></ul><ul><li>Compensatory alkali loss in urine </li></ul><ul><li>Decrease in Plasma volume </li></ul><ul><li>Higher concentration of capillaries in skeletal muscle tissue </li></ul><ul><li>Right ventricular hypertrophy </li></ul><ul><li>Hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction </li></ul>
  6. 6. Three Body Systems Most Affected <ul><li>The three body systems most effected by high altitudes are the respiratory system, the nervous system, and the cardiovascular system. </li></ul>
  7. 7. High Altitude Pulmonary Oedema (H.A.P.E.) <ul><li>Develops after 2 or 3 days at altitudes above 2300 m. </li></ul><ul><li>Dangerous build-up of fluid in the lungs that prevents the air spaces from opening up and filling with fresh air. </li></ul><ul><li>Can be fatal within hours </li></ul><ul><li>Produce white or pink frothy sputum </li></ul><ul><li>Breathless at rest </li></ul><ul><li>Temperature may be elevated </li></ul><ul><li>Must evacuate to a lower altitude </li></ul><ul><li>Impossible to predict who will get H.A.P.E. </li></ul><ul><li>If you have had H.A.P.E. you are more likely to get it again </li></ul><ul><li>Chest infections or vigorous activity while climbing makes you at a higher risk of getting H.A.P.E. </li></ul><ul><li>Lips turn blue </li></ul>
  8. 8. High Altitude Cerebral Oedema (H.A.C.E.) <ul><li>Build up of fluid in the brain causing it to swell </li></ul><ul><li>Severe headache, vomiting, and lethargy will progress to unsteadiness, confusion, drowsiness, and lastly, a coma </li></ul><ul><li>Can kill in only a few hours </li></ul><ul><li>1% of people above 3000 m. get H.A.C.E. </li></ul><ul><li>The faster the assent and the higher the altitude increases ones chance of getting H.A.C.E. </li></ul><ul><li>The cause of H.A.C.E. is unknown </li></ul><ul><li>Decent is the most effective treatment but a gamow bag can be used, oxygen, and the drug dexamethasone </li></ul>
  9. 9. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) <ul><li>Common at high altitudes </li></ul><ul><li>75% of people have mild symptoms </li></ul><ul><li>Occurrence of AMS is dependet upon the elevation </li></ul><ul><li>Starts between 12-24 hours </li></ul><ul><li>Headache, dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, nausea, disturbed sleep, and a general feeling of malaise </li></ul><ul><li>AMS is considered to be a neurological problem cause by changes in the central nervous system </li></ul><ul><li>Decent is the only cure but the drug diamox can help you breathe faster to get more oxygen </li></ul>
  10. 10. Proper Clothing and Special Equipment Required <ul><li>Gamrow Bag </li></ul><ul><li>Tents </li></ul><ul><li>Food and water </li></ul><ul><li>Lightweight cook wear </li></ul><ul><li>Knives </li></ul><ul><li>Insulated clothes & shoes </li></ul><ul><li>Picks and harnesses </li></ul><ul><li>Toiletries </li></ul><ul><li>Matches or fire starter </li></ul><ul><li>First aid kit </li></ul>

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