Nepal | July 08, 2020

130 complain of altitude sickness, five evacuated


Rajan Pokhrel
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Tents being fixed at Mt Everest base camp for climbers acclimatising in the Khumbu region before they embark through treacherous icefall section on their way to Camp 1 for summitting Mt Everest

Kathmandu, April 7

More than 130 mountain workers have complained of altitude sickness after reaching above 4,000 metres carrying loads for climbers.

According to officials and health workers stationed in the region, five patients were evacuated from the Khumbu region while more than 130 received treatment at the Everest base camp and Feriche (4,300 m) in the last three weeks.

Thaneshwor Bhandari, an official at Feriche-based Aid-post run by Himalaya Rescue Association, told this daily over phone that three patients, who suffered from high altitude pulmonary edema and high altitude cerebral edema, were evacuated to Kathmandu.

According to him, mountain worker Lal Bahadur karki, 18 was evacuated today.

“The medical facility has been receiving up to 10 patients daily and most of them complained of altitude sickness,” he said. The Aid-camp is being facilitated by volunteer doctors including Regula Babara Rutz, Claudia Duff, Chandra Sembiring Meliala, Cecep Badrutaman, Isabel Marie Algaze Gonzalez and Raidi Sanchez.

HRA, in collaboration with Everest ER opened a clinic yesterday as more than 200 base camp workers started fixing tents for world climbers.

Lakpa Norbu Sherpa who is stationed with a team of four medical doctors at base camp, said the clinic had treated five patients in the last three days. A base camp worker Bhola Gurung who was suffering from pneumonia was also evacuated to Lukla this afternoon, he added.

Climbers attempting to climb Mt Everest and other peaks in the region need to acclimatise for several days before heading to the summit in order to reduce the risk and severity of altitude sickness as doctors noted that altitude sickness was a major challenge to climbers in the Everest region.

HRA officials said that the aid-posts were saving the lives of trekkers, mountaineers, support staff, porters and local people by providing medical facilities and rescue assistance for the last 40 years. “In this season, Feriche-based Aid-post will remain open till the third week of May while HRA- Everest ER Medical Clinic Medical Clinic will be open till the end of May.”

The Department of Tourism expects more than 300 foreign climbers to attempt to scale Mt Everest as it has already issued permits to 31 teams comprising 275 members.


Symptoms of altitude sickness

Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, insomnia, persistent headache, dizziness, disorientation and drunken gait, weakness, fatigue, lassitude, heavy legs, slight swelling of hands and face, breathlessness and irregular breathing and reduced urine output,

A version of this article appears in print on April 08, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

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