Title

Medical and sporting ethics of high altitude mountaineering: the use of drugs and supplemental oxygen

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Wilderness and Environmental Medicine

Volume

23

Issue

3

Publisher

Elsevier

Publication Date

9-1-2012

First Page

205

Last Page

206

Abstract

Historically, mountaineers have carried the glucocorticoid dexamethasone in their first aid kits as a last resort emergency drug for the treatment of potentially fatal high altitude cerebral edema (HACE). In the past few years, it seems that this drug is gaining acceptance as a prophylaxis for acute mountain sickness rather than be limited to an emergency treatment for HACE. A recent case report described a climber on Mount Everest taking a daily cocktail of acetazolamide, dexamethasone, and nifedipine as advised by his physician for the purpose of preventing acute mountain sickness, HACE, and high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE).1 The climber eventually had steroid toxicity and had to undergo extensive treatment.

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