I want to do some physiology testing on my climb to Everest Basecamp

This March, I am going to climb to Mt Everest Basecamp (EBC), altitude 17,900 feet. Actually I will be going a bit higher to Kalapathhar at 18,500 feet but no one knows what Kalapathhar is, so EBC it is. This is an 8-day trek and I want to do some physiology testing along the way. I am going to bring a pulse oximeter, a sphygmomanometer and some urine dipsticks to do serial urinalysis. I have a pretty strict weight limit. So careful choices need to be made with regard to equipment choices.

In terms of physiology testing I have multiple subjects willing to be part of my science fair.

My questions to the readers of PBF, is what questions can I answer?

I believe that everyone is going to be on acetazolamide.

I am interested in water intake, cramps and exercise fatigue. I could probably get that data with a daily survey and then I could correlate it with pulse oximetry and urine specific gravity at the end of the day’s hike.

I am also interested in peak specific gravity as we go up the mountain. Does it fall with increasing hypoxia? But this may be hopelessly obscured by the acetazolamide.

I would like to do some cognitive testing as we go up the mountain.

What other questions should I try to answer. What other medical instruments should I take? Bioelectrical impedance?

Also remember to donate to multiple myeloma research and my trip to EBC.



Resident lecture on NAGMA

One hour lecture on NAGMA. Just some small changes edits from the last time I gave it. It is one of the few lectures that is still in PowerPoint. It is due for a complete overhaul. It also needs a slide on the treatment of RTA that covers the amount of bicarbonate in a 650 mg tablet (8 mmol) and the fact that distal (type 1) RTA requires a limited amount of bicarbonate (at most 1 mmol/kg). This is appropriate for residents and medical students.

If you are interested in ward teaching and RTA, take a look at this post by Robert Centor.

Also this is a nice article on the issue of saline having a pH of 5.5, covering both the reason (its the PVC bag) and the implications (none).