Altitude sickness, or Acute Mountain Sickness Essay

Altitude sickness, or Acute Mountain Sickness Essay

Length: 1806 words (5.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

To begin I would like to talk about Altitude sickness, or Acute Mountain Sickness. I will define altitude sickness, talk about the symptoms, how to prevent altitude sickness, and how to treat it. I will then talk about what untreated altitude sickness can lead to.
Altitude sickness is an illness you can get from ascending too high above sea level too quickly without acclimatizing to the decrease in oxygen levels. Altitude sickness, also called acute mountain sickness, is caused by exposure to low partial pressure of oxygen at high altitude. At high altitude atmospheric pressure is lower than at sea level. Because of the lower pressure the air expands as it rises which causes it to cool, thus high altitude air is cold. Normally the human body can adapt to high altitude by breathing faster, having a higher heart rate, and adjusting blood chemistry. However above 8,000 meters (26,000 feet) altitude acclimatization becomes almost impossible.
There are two categories of Altitude Sickness; Mild to Moderate, and Severe.
Some of the Symptoms of mild to moderate altitude sickness may include:
• Difficulty sleeping
• Dizziness or light-headedness
• Fatigue
• Headache
• Loss of appetite
• Nausea or vomiting
• Rapid pulse (heart rate)
• Shortness of breath with exertion
Symptoms that may occur with more severe acute mountain sickness include:
• Blue color to the skin (cyanosis)
• Chest tightness or congestion
• Confusion
• Cough
• Coughing up blood
• Decreased consciousness or withdrawal from social interaction
• Gray or pale complexion
• Cannot walk in a straight line, or walk at all
• Shortness of breath at rest
There are also some risk factors that make you more susceptible to altitude sickness. Some of these risk factors are:
• If y...

... middle of paper ...

... as the heart, major blood vessels, and airways) toward the other side of the chest. The shift can cause the other lung to become compressed, and can affect the flow of blood returning to the heart. This situation can lead to low blood pressure, shock, and death.
Symptoms of a tension pneumothorax
• Sudden chest pain
• Shortness of breath
• Chest tightness
• Easy fatigue
• Bluish color of the skin due to lack of oxygen
• Rapid heart rate
• Low blood pressure
• Decreased mental alertness
• Decreased consciousness
• Rapid breathing
• Bulging (distended) veins in the neck
Tension Pneumothorax requires immediate attention. A needle or chest tube needs to be inserted into the chest cavity to release the pressure as soon as possible. If an evacuation is going to take a long period of time you may have to do this procedure yourself. That is not recommended though.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Acute Mountain Sickness Essays

- “Acute mountain sickness (AMS) is a syndrome induced by hypoxia in unacclimatized individuals who ascend rapidly to altitudes exceeding 2500m and remain there for more than several hours” (Beidleman, et al., 2003, p. 322). AMS typically occurs when an individual is exposed to reduced air pressures and lower oxygen concentrations, which is most often encountered at high altitudes (Heller, 2009). “Oxygen is critical to normal cellular function because it is an essential part of the electron transport chain for energy production in cells” (West, 2004, p....   [tags: Health]

Powerful Essays
1346 words (3.8 pages)

High-Altitude Edema Illnesses Are Real Essay

- High altitude cerebral edema and high altitude pulmonary edema are very real, very lethal sicknesses. They mainly occur with people that experience extreme changes in elevation, at a faster pace that their bodies can get accustomed to. People that are mainly at risk are those who climb mountains to higher elevations, generally above a mile above sea level, and also those who fly after diving at deep depths. These two sicknesses, while potentially lethal, can be easily mitigated with the correct precaution taking, monitoring, and having the correct knowledge....   [tags: flying, oxygen, pressure]

Powerful Essays
1160 words (3.3 pages)

Renal and Respiratory Pathophysiological Challenges of High Altitudes, Acclimatization and Possible Methods of Treatment with a Minor Focus on Ethanol

- Respiratory System Acclimatization, Prophylaxis, and Treatment Acclimatization The respiratory system acclimatizes for the majority of elevation gain through the incorporation of hyperventilation.8, 16 The hypoxic conditions of Mount Everest stimulate the peripheral chemoreceptors of the carotid body16, resulting in a hypoxic ventilation response (HVR) from messages sent to the brain as seen in Figure 3. This leads to increased ventilation to compensate for the lower oxygen content available for your body to consume during its normal functions....   [tags: respitory system acclimatiaztion, prophylaxis]

Powerful Essays
1358 words (3.9 pages)

Essay about Brokeback Mountain

- The major plot outline in both the short story and the movie The central drama and point of conflict in any love story is the obstacle between the lovers. In the best known tragic love story in Western history, Romeo and Juliet, the obstacle is their feuding families; in the classic film Casablanca it's virtue and in Brief Encounter, it's the marriage of one of the lovers. This is a story of unfulfilled love in Wyoming. Ennis and Jack, a ranch hand and an aspiring rodeo rider, work together as sheep herders in the summer of 1963 on Brokeback Mountain in Wyoming....   [tags: Brokeback Mountain Essays]

Free Essays
1242 words (3.5 pages)

The Pathophysiology of Acute Renal Failure Essay

- Explain the pathophysiology of acute renal failure. Include prerenal intrarenal and postrenal causes. According to the Mayo Clinic Staff (2012), acute kidney renal failure occurs abruptly when your kidneys lose their filtering abilities and cannot filter waste products from your blood. This is also known as acute renal failure or acute kidney injury. When this happens, high levels of waste may become accumulated in your blood and will alter your bloods chemical make up causing them to get out of balance....   [tags: Acute Renal Failure]

Free Essays
556 words (1.6 pages)

Essay on Understanding Acute Renal Failure

- The pathophysiology of acute renal failure is divided in 3 different causes. Out of the 3 causes of acute renal failure pre renal is the most common. It may result in hypoperfusion and ischemia. Pre renal is caused by a sudden drop in blood pressure or renal interruption of blood flow from the kidneys from sudden severe injury or illness. Intrarenal is caused by direct damage to the kidneys either by inflammation, toxins, drugs, infection or reduced blood supply. Postrenal is a sudden obstruction of urine flow due to an enlarged prostate, kidney stones or bladder tumor or injury....   [tags: Pathophysiology of Acute Renal Failure]

Powerful Essays
884 words (2.5 pages)

Essay about High Altitude Training

- High Altitude Training For the first mile of my daily run the cows are with me. They seem out of place along this road that winds through mountain pines, but in Arizona cows are everywhere, even at 7,000 feet. They watch incredulously with soft eyes as I run by. They stand as still as statues and only their heads move, slowly and almost imperceptibly, like the heads in paintings of long-dead relatives that gaze right at you, no matter where you stand in the room. I can’t tell if they approve of all this running activity; they are silent....   [tags: Running Athletes Essays]

Free Essays
726 words (2.1 pages)

The Research and Development of the High Altitude Sleeping System: HASS

- The Research and Development of the High Altitude Sleeping System: HASS Abstract Various negative physiological effects of sleeping at high elevations increase dramatically above 12,000 feet. These effects include dehydration, hypothermia, susceptibility to respiratory tract infection, high altitude sleep apnea, severe fatigue, and other ailments of varying severity. Until now, technology has done very little to address these problems. Working in the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Biological Altitude Testing Laboratory, undergraduate David de la Garza and I developed a High Altitude Sleeping System called HASS....   [tags: Essays Papers]

Free Essays
1735 words (5 pages)

Essay about Brokeback Mountain

- Setting "Brokeback mountain Mori" begins in a mental institution, passes through an anonymous motel room and tattoo parlor, and ends in the back of a police car. Brokeback mountain never explicitly mentions whether Leonard has been in a mental institution (though certain ambiguous clues indicate that perhaps he has). It also passes through motel rooms and tattoo parlors, but it adds other locations, such as Natalie's house, the bar where she works, a diner, and the abandoned building where Leonard kills both Jimmy and Teddy....   [tags: Brokeback Mountain Essays]

Free Essays
1801 words (5.1 pages)

Essay on Altitude Safety

- Changes in altitude have a profound effect on the human body. The body attempts to maintain a state of homeostasis or balance to ensure the optimal operating environment for its complex chemical systems. Any change from this homeostasis is a change away from the optimal operating environment. The body attempts to correct this imbalance. One such imbalance is the effect of increasing altitude on the body’s ability to provide adequate oxygen to be utilized in cellular respiration. With an increase in elevation, a typical occurrence when climbing mountains, the body is forced to respond in various ways to the changes in external environment....   [tags: Human Body Atmospheric Pressure Essays]

Powerful Essays
3784 words (10.8 pages)