How to prevent altitude sickness

Mountain Medicine, UIAA

Acute mountain sickness (AMS), high altitude pulmonary oedema (HAPE) and high altitude cerebral oedema (HACE) are the most important and most common altitude related diseases. Primary prevention is considered the gold standard to avoid altitude illness.

Produced with the aim of providing all mountain users with information on the ways to prevent high altitude illnesses, the UIAA Medical Commission (MedCom) has produced a short film on the subject. This video follows the 2021 release of a video dedicated to drinking safe water in the mountains. It is further supported by MedCom’s paper on AMS, HAPE and HACE, available in nine languages.

The video tackles the measures essential to preventing high-altitude illnesses when air pressure decreases with elevation and less oxygen becomes available, what the symptoms are, and what to do to best treat such a condition.

“Following the success of the video produced about accessing safe water in the mountains, we wanted to focus on another topic which will impact all climbers and mountaineers, whether novice or experienced. High altitude illnesses can be prevented with the appropriate preparation and with a greater understanding of how to react once on the mountain. We hope the video offers a format which is entertaining and informative,” explained UIAA Medical Commission President Dr Urs Hefti.

To ensure global reach of this important information, subtitles in different languages will be made available.

For further information about the UIAA Medical Commission, as well as links to its range of papers on high altitude subjects, please click here.