Testing Individual Risk of Acute Mountain Sickness at Greater Altitudes
Source: Military Medicine, Volume 174, Number 4, April 2009 , pp. 363-369(7)
The assessment of an individual’s degree of acclimatization to altitude is difficult. This is particularly applicable to military operations that have to be performed at altitude. This study describes a new and simple test that allows for the determination of an individual’s risk for high-altitude illness at higher altitudes. The prediction is based on the lowest oxygen saturation (SaO2) found during an uphill run at high altitude (11,060 ft [3,371 m]), combined with the time needed to complete the run. The test results were compared against the severity of high-altitude symptomatology on the summit of Mont Blanc (15,762 ft [4,808 m]). The main outcome was the significant correlation between time as well as SaO2 and the severity of high-altitude symptomatology on the summit of Mont Blanc.
The newly developed performance test allows, at a “safe” altitude, the prediction of an individual’s risk of developing high altitude illness if they continue to ascend. It allows the determination of the best acclimatized subjects within a group, for example, before a military mission at greater altitude.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Department of Visceral and Thoracic Surgery, Bundeswehr Hospital Ulm, Oberer Eselsberg 40, 89081 Ulm, Germany. 2: Department of Sports Physiology, Johannes-Gutenberg-University Mainz, 55099 Mainz, Germany. 3: Department of Trauma and Vascular Surgery, Bundeswehr Hospital Ulm, Oberer Eselsberg 40, 89081 Ulm, Germany.
Publication date: 2009-04-01
- Military Medicine is the Association's official monthly journal. The objective of the Journal is to promote awareness of Federal medicine by providing a forum for responsible discussion of common ideas and problems relevant to Federal healthcare. Its mission is: To increase healthcare education by providing scientific and other information to its readers; to facilitate communication; and to offer a prestige publication for members' writings.
Military Medicine's 5-year Impact Factor: 1.061
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