Yesterday Becky and I attended a very interesting lecture at Leeds Becket University. Titled ‘Introduction to Mountain Medicine’ it was delivered by Monkey Mountaineering’s Medical Advisor, Dr Adrian Mellor. The lecture was extremely informative, grounded in science and research and very engaging. Over the two hour session Adrian reminded us about some of the key health issues when travelling in mountainous regions before revising our knowledge of altitude related problems and introducing us to new thinking on the subject including current best practice for prevention and emergency treatment.
Adrian covered topics ranging from dehydration, frostbite, hypothermia, the importance of rest, the role played by physical fitness as well as comprehensively covering Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) and High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE). The session included up to date thinking on recognising and managing altitude related illness as well as treatment strategies and current practice on the prophylactic and post symptomatic use of drugs such as Acetazolamide (Diamox), Dexamethasone and Nifedipine.
As a provider of mountain based adventure travel it is essential that we have a good understanding of all the relevant health issues. Some of our trips are aimed at very high altitude objectives and it is crucial that our planning takes into account health risks. Adrian’s lecture was a great reminder of the health risks that altitude can present and it provided us with a deeper understanding of the issues whilst highlighting new thinking that we will put to good use in our mitigation strategies and trip planning.
Monkey Mountaineering offers a full mountaineering advice service which includes specific medical advice. For more information check out our Specialist Services page or get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org