Altitude sickness- how to manage this condition?
A 22 year old male from Calcutta india about 1.5-9meters above sea level had arrived for pilgrimage (Amarnat shrine pilgrimage) located at an altitude of 38884m (amaranth cave). Patient had climbed to an altitude of 3574m (sheshnag) in single day after arrival at base camp (pahalgam altitude 2740m). On night of arrival at this altitude he complained of tightness in chest, breathlessness, tiredness exhaustion, altered sensorium in form of irrelevant talking improper behaviour like refusal to feed and poor response to verbal commands. He was managed at camp site health care facility with oxygen and iv fluids, but he continued to deteriorate. How to manage this condition?
@arata The main treatment for altitude sickness is to move to a lower elevation as quickly and safely as possible. At the very least, do not go higher. If symptoms are mild, staying at your current elevation for a few days might be enough to improve the symptoms.
Other treatments depend on how severe the symptoms are:
Mild altitude sickness: Over-the-counter medicines can relieve headaches. Other symptoms will improve once your body adjusts or you move to a lower altitude.
Moderate altitude sickness: Symptoms should improve within 24 hours once you are 1,000 to 2,000 feet lower than you were. Within three days, you should feel completely better.
Severe altitude sickness, HACE and HAPE: If you have severe symptoms, you must be taken immediately to an elevation that’s no higher than 4,000 feet. Get to a healthcare provider as soon as possible. You may need hospitalization.