Navigation Links
Most Mt. Everest Deaths Occur Near Summit During Descent
Date:12/11/2008

Study says high-altitude cerebral edema is a common problem for climbers

THURSDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Most deaths on Mount Everest occur during descents from the summit in the so-called "death zone" above 8,000 meters, and high-altitude cerebral edema appears to be associated with an increased risk of death.

That's the conclusion of researchers who analyzed the reported 212 deaths on the 29,000-foot mountain between 1921 and 2006.

The American, British and Canadian researchers found that the overall death rate for climbers and sherpas (locals hired to assist climbers) over those 86 years was 1.3 percent (1.6 percent among climbers and 1.1 percent among sherpas). Over the past 25 years, the death rate for climbers descending via the longer Tibetan northeast ridge was 3.4 percent, and 2.5 percent on the shorter Nepal route.

Excessive fatigue, a tendency to fall behind other climbers, and arriving at the summit later in the day were the factors most associated with risk of death, the study found. Many of those who died had symptoms such as confusion, a loss of physical coordination, and unconsciousness, all of which suggest high-altitude cerebral edema, a swelling of the brain caused by leakage of cerebral blood vessels.

Symptoms of high-altitude pulmonary edema (excessive fluid in the lungs) were rare among those who died on Everest. This surprised the researchers because high-altitude pulmonary edema is involved in most high-altitude-related deaths.

"We were also surprised at how few people died due to avalanches and ice falls in recent years... and that during descents, the mortality rate for climbers was six times that of sherpas," study leader Dr. Paul Firth, with the Massachusetts General Hospital department of anesthesia, said in a hospital news release.

The fact that fewer sherpas died during descents suggests that taking the time to acclimatize to high altitudes could improve climber survival. However, other factors may also be important, the study authors said.

"Most of the sherpas are born and live their lives at high altitudes, and the competitive process for expedition employment probably selects those who are best adapted to and most skilled for the work. So the ability of lowlanders to acclimate to these very high altitudes needs further investigation," Firth said.

The study was published Dec. 9 online issue of theBMJ.

More information

The MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia has more about acute altitude sickness.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: Massachusetts General Hospital, news release, Dec. 9, 2008


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Oregon Scientific to Sponsor First-Ever Rock Concert on Mount Everest
2. WaterPure International, Inc. and Everest Water Ltd. Revise Payment Terms of Patent License to Produce Water From Air
3. Out of Iraq emerges hope for those with the severest of head injuries
4. Team probes why climbers die on Mount Everest
5. £5 million investment in personalized medicines to cut patient deaths
6. Injuries, Deaths Tied to Consumer Drugs Rise Sharply
7. New Report: Dangerous Drug Side Effects and Deaths Doubled Since 1998... Seniors Hit Hardest
8. Child Deaths Fall Below 10 Million For First Time
9. Climate may increase heat-related deaths by 2050s, says Mailman School of PH study
10. Montana State University researchers investigate new suspect in West Nile deaths of pelicans
11. Assisted Suicide Wont Up Deaths for Vulnerable Groups: Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/16/2017)... ... January 16, 2017 , ... ... provide first-quality education and high-level training standards to an international multidisciplinary group of ... disorder problems. As a way to further its mission at the grassroots level, ...
(Date:1/15/2017)... NY (PRWEB) , ... January 15, 2017 , ... In ... accounts in the United States for the asthma & allergy friendly mark. This certification ... to independently test and identify consumer products to be more suitable for the 60+ ...
(Date:1/15/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... January 15, 2017 , ... ... their choice of best physicians in eight Bay Area counties for 2017. Almost ... the healthcare research company managing the award process. Results were announced the magazine’s ...
(Date:1/14/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... January 13, 2017 , ... ... on Body and Soul, incorporating a magnesium-rich Mediterranean diet may lower the risk ... Café and Lounge notes that the many health and wellness benefits linked to ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... A January 10 article in the Daily Star ... publication, with an emphasis on some new techniques that the publication says are becoming ... more casually to his patients and colleagues as Dr. J, comments that the best ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/16/2017)... , January 16, 2017 According to a new ... Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2014 - 2022," the global antioxidants market generated ... registering a CAGR of 6.42% during the forecast period. In the natural antioxidants ... volume in 2015. Continue Reading ... ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... , Jan. 16, 2017  Today, Analytics 4 Life ... devices, announced its expansion into JLABS @ ... life science incubators. As a resident in the space, ... medical device development and commercialization expertise. JLABS ... science innovation center that provides a flexible environment for ...
(Date:1/15/2017)... Le conseil d,administration de SurgaColl Technologies Ltd., le développeur ... de tissus humains, annonce la nomination de William (Bill) ... ... est un dirigeant expérimenté à l,international dans l,industrie des dispositifs ... de direction au sein de sociétés internationales spécialisées dans les ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: