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UIAA expands online mountaineering medical advice
22 Nov 2008
The Medical Commission has updated and expanded its list of resource papers and frequently asked questions aimed at climbers and doctors.
"The most important issue continues to be safety in the mountains, for example people acquiring adequate and evidence-based information about proper acclimatisation," says Buddha Basnyat, medical doctor and commission president.
With the updated advice papers, climbers and medical staff will be able to use the UIAA website as a resource for expert guidelines and research on mountain medical issues. An emphasis is put on health problems that only occur at high altitude.
In the new Medical Frequently Asked Questions section, you will find easy-to-understand answers on how to look after your health when you are going to high altitudes. If you cannot find the answer to your question, contact the Medical Commission, and the UIAA doctors will do their best to provide answers and publish them on the website.
The Medical advice and recommendations section provides updated research information and is aimed at both practitioners and mountaineers. The results represent a consensus reached by the commission members on what is the best prevention and treatment for each condition or issue.
Among the papers on health at high altitude, there is specific advice for women and children going to high altitude, and the use of drugs and hyperbaric chambers to stabilise those suffering from altitude sickness.
Other topics include water disinfection, avoiding travellers' diarrhoea, and nutrition tips for treks and expeditions.
The commission has also put together an easy-to-understand guide for those who do not have a lot of hiking or climbing experience. The 4x4 health rules for mountaineers are a set of guidelines on what to do before you travel to the mountains, what to do before you set off on a hike or trek and during the trip to stay safe and healthy, and how to react to a medical condition.