Ambulatory physiological status monitoring during a mountaineering expedition.

To evaluate an ambulatory physiological monitoring system during a mountaineering expedition. We hypothesized that the Environmental Symptoms Questionnaire, combined with frequent measurement of oxygen saturation and core temperature, would accurately identify cases of environmental illness.
Twelve military mountaineers took a daily Environmental Symptoms Questionnaire, monitored fingertip oxygen saturations, and recorded core temperatures while climbing a 4,949-m peak. Illnesses identified by the system were compared with those identified by spontaneous reports.
The system correctly identified one case of high-altitude pulmonary edema and two illnesses that were not reported to the physician (one case of acute mountain sickness and one of self-limited symptomatic desaturation). However, it did not identify two illnesses that were severe enough to preclude further climbing (one case of sinus headache and one of generalized fatigue).
Our monitoring system may complement, but cannot replace, on-site medical personnel during mountaineering expeditions.
AuthorsL A Sonna, J E Kain, R W Hoyt, S R Muza, M N Sawka
JournalMilitary medicine (Mil Med) Vol. 165 Issue 11 Pg. 860-6 (Nov 2000) ISSN: 0026-4075 [Print] United States
PMID11143435 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
  • Adult
  • Altitude Sickness (diagnosis)
  • Body Temperature
  • Canada
  • Humans
  • Military Personnel
  • Monitoring, Physiologic
  • Mountaineering (physiology)
  • Oximetry
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States

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