May 9th Clinic Update

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May9thIt’s May 9 and many of our climbing neighbors and friends are acclimatized and ready for their summit bids – waiting for a weather window.  Some have ventured to greener pastures, descending to gather up some nutrition and oxygen and get some grass between their toes before the big task ahead.

Time for a clinic report!  We’ve seen 187 patients in the clinic so far.  True to our mission, 67% of our patients are hard working Nepali climbers and support workers.  And following the trend for the past 13 years, the most common diagnosis for all patients is cough, with the majority of coughs due to high altitude and not infection.  We’ve treated 13 cases of serious altitude illness (HACE or HAPE), and many patients with gastrointestinal complaints (the ever present gastritis, along with a few cases of infectious diarrhea.)  We’ve sent 24 folks down for either recovery and rest or definitive evaluation and care, with 6 patients requiring helicopter evacuation.  Now the waiting begins.  We are excited to hear the first radio reports of successful summits!

Photo credit Tash Pirie-Burley

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