Challenges in thin air of Everest could inform patient care
Avalanches, vicious winds and sub-zero temperatures aren’t the only extremes endured by those who climb Mount Everest. Hypoxia, a lack of oxygen that can lead to cell death, also threatens. But a study of people ascending Mount Everest’s slopes suggests that some humans are especially tolerant of low oxygen levels, perhaps because their bodies use oxygen more efficiently. The findings, reported in the Jan. 8 New England Journal of Medicine, could inform the treatment of critically ill patients struggling to breathe in hospitals.
Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.