X. World Congress on High Altitude Medicine and Physiology & Mountain Emergency Medicine, held in Bozen/Bolzano
Anyone who spends time at altitude in excess of 2500 metres can have difficulties, sometimes against all expectation, in adapting to these heights. They may subsequently complain either of minor ailments such as headache, dizziness, disturbed sleep, or may experience more serious consequences of altitude sickness, which can be fatal. The first interim findings were presented on 28 May 2014 by the organisers of the congress run by the EURAC Institute of Mountain Emergency Medicine in South Tyrol, together with their research colleagues.
Hundreds of millions of people all over the world travel to, work in or live in mountainous regions. The stress caused by high altitudes causes many health problems as their body seems to be incapable of adapting to such conditions. Studies presented at the congress by mountain medicine experts indicate that around 15% of the population living in the South American Andes suffer from chronic altitude sickness with severe effects on their everyday lives.
The Sherpas in Nepal as well as the population of Tibet, on the other hand, are largely resistant to altitude sickness. Genetically they were able to adapt gradually to such conditions over hundreds of generations, and this seems to determine whether people are sensitive to high altitudes or not. “The Tibetans have populated ‘The Roof of the World’ for many centuries.
They have adapted superbly to such altitudes in terms of their genetic development. The inhabitants of the Andes, on the other hand, have not been able to adapt fully to their present habitat since they have not been settled there long enough.” This is the conclusion drawn by Hermann Brugger and Giacomo Strapazzon from the Bozen/Bolzano EURAC Institute for Alpine Emergency Medicine, summarising the research findings presented at the congress.
What has not been fully understood by scientists is which factors are primarily responsible for acute altitude sickness. This serious illness, which can lead to a brain or lung oedema, is the most frequent cause of death amongst mountaineers. On the occasion of the World Congress, the scientists presented new studies, demonstrating for the first time how, with the aid of ultrasound, the risk of altitude sickness can be diagnosed early. The studies showed a direct link between an enlarged optic nerve, measured with ultrasonography techniques, and altitude sickness. The results presented at the congress are based on the so-called “Ortler Study” carried out in 2011 by EURAC medical experts Brugger and Strapazzon in collaboration with the glacier scientists located on the Ortler Mountain.
Compared to other specializations, high altitude and mountain medicine is a fairly recent discipline. At the same time, this particular discipline has to cope with several complicating factors relating to diagnosis and therapy: weather conditions, difficult terrain, psychological problems brought about by the extreme conditions that prevail at high altitudes. hosts the congress.
Nepal, symbolic for high altitude and at the same time for the problems associated with high altitude, is one of the main themes of this congress. The steady increase in mountaineering tourism from the rich western world collides with the poverty of the local population. “The Mount Everest avalanche disaster on 18 April this year showed how important it is that the Nepalese Sherpas and mountain guides are also fully trained in rescue procedures. Many of them have not even mastered the most important techniques of first aid. We are a group of 20 Nepalese doctors and Sherpas and as we were fortunate enough to complete a medical and rescue-related training course in South Tyrol, we are now in a position to pass on this knowledge to others. We intend to set up a locally organised mountain rescue system in Nepal,” explains Pranawa Koirala, Nepalese mountain rescuer and doctor, who, two years ago, trained in mountain rescue in South Tyrol.
The X. World Congress on High Altitude Medicine and Physiology & Mountain Emergency Medicine will discuss latest global research findings and new developments in mountain rescue techniques; topics related to mountain emergency medicine will feature on the programme for the first time in the history of the congress.
Laura Defranceschi | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Call for Paper – Panacea Green Infrastructure?
30.09.2016 | Institut für Landes- und Stadtentwicklungsforschung gGmbH
HLF: From an experiment to an establishment
29.09.2016 | Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation
Heavy construction machinery is the focus of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s latest advance in additive manufacturing research. With industry partners and university students, ORNL researchers are designing and producing the world’s first 3D printed excavator, a prototype that will leverage large-scale AM technologies and explore the feasibility of printing with metal alloys.
Increasing the size and speed of metal-based 3D printing techniques, using low-cost alloys like steel and aluminum, could create new industrial applications...
Friction stir welding is a still-young and thus often unfamiliar pressure welding process for joining flat components and semi-finished components made of light metals.
Scientists at the University of Stuttgart have now developed two new process variants that will considerably expand the areas of application for friction stir welding.
Technologie-Lizenz-Büro (TLB) GmbH supports the University of Stuttgart in patenting and marketing its innovations.
Friction stir welding is a still-young and thus often unfamiliar pressure welding process for joining flat components and semi-finished components made of...
Optical quantum computers can revolutionize computer technology. A team of researchers led by scientists from Münster University and KIT now succeeded in putting a quantum optical experimental set-up onto a chip. In doing so, they have met one of the requirements for making it possible to use photonic circuits for optical quantum computers.
Optical quantum computers are what people are pinning their hopes on for tomorrow’s computer technology – whether for tap-proof data encryption, ultrafast...
The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing various applications for OLED microdisplays based on organic semiconductors. By integrating the capabilities of an image sensor directly into the microdisplay, eye movements can be recorded by the smart glasses and utilized for guidance and control functions, as one example. The new design will be debuted at Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE) in Berlin at Booth B25, October 18th – 19th.
“Augmented-reality” and “wearables” have become terms we encounter almost daily. Both can make daily life a little simpler and provide valuable assistance for...
With the help of artificial intelligence, chemists from the University of Basel in Switzerland have computed the characteristics of about two million crystals made up of four chemical elements. The researchers were able to identify 90 previously unknown thermodynamically stable crystals that can be regarded as new materials. They report on their findings in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
Elpasolite is a glassy, transparent, shiny and soft mineral with a cubic crystal structure. First discovered in El Paso County (Colorado, USA), it can also be...
30.09.2016 | Event News
29.09.2016 | Event News
28.09.2016 | Event News
30.09.2016 | Materials Sciences
30.09.2016 | Earth Sciences
30.09.2016 | Life Sciences