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There are three types of altitude-related illnesses: acute mountain sickness (AMS), high altitude cerebral edema (HACE), and high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE).
Hazan recalls that besides the typical life-threatening causes of shortness of breath (congestive heart failure, pulmonary embolism, pneumonia, acute coronary syndrome, and pneumothorax), he had to consider high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE), an illness that is both common and unique to this environment.
We have known that both tadalafil and dexamethasone are good for preventing high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) and dex for treating symptoms of acute mountain sickness (AMS)," said lead authors Dr Manuel Fischler, of the University Hospital in Zurich, Switzerland, and Hans-Peter Brunner-La Rocca, of the University Hospital in Basel, Switzerland.
A week ago he was flown by helicopter from the Everest region to Kathmandu where doctors diagnosed high altitude pulmonary edema, which causes breathing problems.
High altitude pulmonary edema (fluid in the lung tissue) may cause cough and shortness of breath on exercise or, when severe, progressive shortness of breath even at rest, suffocation, and death.
High altitude pulmonary edema is a problem experienced by individuals at altitudes of 8000 ft.
Knauth and colleagues at the University Hospitals in Goettingen and Heidelberg, Germany, compared brain MRI findings among four groups of mountaineers: climbers with well documented episodes of HACE; climbers with a history of high altitude illness; climbers with a history of severe acute mountain sickness (AMS); and climbers with a history of isolated high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE), a life-threatening accumulation of fluid in the lungs that occurs at high altitudes.
Severe consequences include high altitude pulmonary edema and high altitude cerebral edema, which are both medical emergencies.