The Golden Rules of Acute Mountain Sickness

A new study published in High Altitude Medicine and Biology cautioned us against standard tactics to ward off altitude illness. The review of Kilimanjaro climbers showed that neither a single rest day nor drugs (acetazolamide) helped prevent acute mountain sickness. Although aclimatization beforehand helped. In short, raising awarness is important. It reminds us of the golden rules proposed by mountain docs David Schlimn and Tom Dietz posted at the International Society for Mountain Medicine:

GOLDEN RULE I
If you feel unwell at altitude it is altitude illness until proven otherwise.

 

GOLDEN RULE II
Never ascend with symptoms of AMS.

 

GOLDEN RULE III
If you are getting worse (or have HACE or HAPE), go down at once.

--Christopher Van Tilburg, MD

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