If you are planning the trip of a lifetime in the the mountains which involves high altitude travel it’s best to be prepared and that means being ready medical emergencies.
That’s where the Travel at High Altitude booklet put out by Medex is a useful and helpful primer. It is available in at 13 languages ranging from Serbian and Nepali to Chinese, Greek, German and English. The most recent and updated translation was released this month in Dutch.
In simple and easy understandable terms, the booklet guides readers through the basics of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) and demystifies you on how to deal with diverse challenges including children at high altitude and sleep issues.
It deals with everything from such basic questions as “What is high altitude” to a primer on how to use oxygen, pills and potions, acclimatization and what to do in an emergency has been published.
There are also chapters on different parts of the body and how altitude travel can affect the brain, the lungs and the heart among other things organs of the body, as well as an overview of medical issues related to travel different regions of the world.
The original booklet was complied in English by members of Medex and many members of the UIAA Medical Commission have been involved in its translation into foreign languages including the recent Dutch version.
“This free layman’s booklet has been an amazing success due to its straightforward basic sound advice,” said David Hillebrandt, president of the UIAA Medical Commission. “Being free at the click of a computer key it represents fantastic value for money.”
The UIAA Medical Commission which puts out its own Advice and Recommendation papers on medical issues such as acute mountain sickness, nutrition and water disinfection endorses the Medex booklet. The UIAA version of its papers, published on the supervision of Dr. Thomas Küpper of the Institute of Occupational & Social Medicine, Aachen Technical University in Germany are available in English, Greek, Polish, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Japanese, Spanish and Farsi.
The free booklet on Travel at High Altitude, put out by Medex is the result of the shared experience and collaboration of several successful high altitude expeditions and the collaboration of Medex members. These expeditions include Kanchenjunga, Manasulu and Hidden Peak and Hongu.
As the authors of the booklet state:
This booklet is written to help you understand some of the ways your body may change as it has to cope with high altitude and the “thin air.” It is full of information, tips and stories to help you enjoy your trip and stay healthy. Most importantly, it also covers the serious altitude illnesses which still kill those unaware of the risks.
Medex was formed in 1992 to support the work of Medical Expeditions which is a UK based charity founded to support mountain medicine education and research.
Today Medex co-ordinates research expeditions and social events for a growing membership. For information about previous expeditions and events, as well as what’s next on the Medex, please visit their website here.
Medex next medical expedition takes place in 2015 to Manaslu in Nepal. The organization is taking bookings here. More information can be found here.