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Health and Safety

Trekking in himalayas is a rewarding and lifetime unforgettable experience.however , it’s most important to keep your health and safety in mind. The weather conditions can change any moment Himalayas and in case of an accident, medical help is not always easly available. It is always good to prepared, before your trip and during your trip. Have a look below please for some Guidelines and tips on health and safety during your trip.

Other health risks

There are some health risks that are more acute when you trekking Himalayas at high altitudes.

  • Dehydration during trekking : since you are prone to sweat a lots when you hiking or trekking , it is most important to keep hydrated. Keep water with you at all the times during trekking and drinks lots water more than 3 litters.
  • Altitude Sickness : This Altitude Sickness occurs when ascending from low levels to high levels , especially when you done rapidly. Altitude sickness begins with shortness of breath from lack of oxygen. The symptoms include tired , loss of appetite , headache and nausea. It is very important to go slowly and monitor your body’s reaction to the changes in high altitude. Trekkers should descend immediately when the condition worse .
  • Blisters : walking for long period of time can be casue blisters to develop on your feet. Please be prepared always and bring a first aid kit with you. also try to keep your feet as dry as possible during walking. Be sure that to wear in your trekking boots before your trip to Nepal.
  • Sunburns in Himalayas. At high altitude hiamalayas , the sun rays are more powerfull. Pck a hat , sunglasses and wear lots of sunscreen during day to avoid getting sunburnt.

Altitude Sickness /acute mountain sickness (AMS)

Altitude sickness also called acute mountain sickess (AMS) generally occurs above 2,500 meter (8,000ft) but serious altitude illness is rare below 3,000 meter(10,000ft). its ranges from preparation a mild headache and wearness to a life – threatening disease , when fluid in the lungs (HAPE) or Brain (HACE) is build-up. AMS is caused by the body having difficulty adapting to lower oxygen level at higher altitudes in Himalayas. Usually this is due to a so quick ascend and some times personal sensitivity. As acute mountain sickness can be fateful. It’s a always important to know about the disease, its symptoms , how to prevent them and how to treat Acute Mountain sickness.

Acute Altitude sickness in Himalayas

Acute altitude sicknes is the mildest and  most common form in Himalayas. Patients usually have a (mild) headache and / less  appetite also nausea. These symptoms are quite normall andcommon above 3,000 meter (10,000ft). please if you trekking in himalayas nothing to be worried about (yet) , but it is very important to let your Guide know or trekking companion about your symptoms and keep close watch that they don’t get worse, if went more worse please symptoms are here below:

  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath during the exertion
  • Nausea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Lack of sleep
  • Social withdrawal

High altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE)

High altitude pulmonary edema occurs when fluid builds up within the lungs a condition that can make breathing extremely difficult. Onset of HAPE can be gradual. HAPE typically occurs after more than one day spent at high altitude in Himalayas. If left untreated , it can be progress to respiratory collapse and ultimately to die.

Symptoms  :

  • Shortness of breath at rest
  • Extremely tiredness
  • Respiratory failure
  • Possible fever
  • Dry cough or wet cough with frothy sputum
  • Hard to breathing

High altutitude cerebral edema (HACE)

Another harsh form of altitude sickness is high altitude cerebral edema (HACE) , in which is fluid build up within the brain. As the brain swells with fluid , the persons mental state changes. Loss of coordination , coma and finally death can are cause of not recognized and treated promptly.

Symptoms are :

  • Difficulty with balance and coordination
  • Illusion, lethargy and confusion
  • As the brain continues to swell unconsciousness or coma will develop

How to identify of someone is seriously suffering from AMS, HAPE or HACE

  • Ask the person to close eyes and bring finger to tip of nose
  • Ask the person to walk in a straight line
  • Ask the person to put on pant (put leg into one of the legs0

If person is not able to do this so, the situations are serious

How to treatment AMS

  • Incase of mild symptoms , stay at the same altitude then ascend only when the symptoms have gone or resolved completely
  • In case symptoms are getting worse while resting at the same altitude , please descend
  • If serious symptoms go down immediately then helicopter rescue necessary maybe
  • If patient is not able to walk (due to serious symptoms) and can’t be carry down an inflatable high pressure bag (gamow bag) can help. The Gamow bag restores the oxygen level and air pressure and is used as treatment in acute situation.
  • Never let a patient descend unattended
  • If some where available consult a doctor, also if symptoms are not vey serious

How to prevent AMS

It’s always good to know that best way to prevent AMS is to ascend gradually . above an altitude of 3,000 meter (10,000 ft) you should not ascend more than 500 meter  in a day. If due to the itinerary this not possible a rest day to acclimatize recommended by ExGuide Treks.keep in mind please that different people will acclimatize at different rates. Acclimatization of often accompanied by fluid loss , so you always need to lots drinks of fluid to remain properly hydrated (at least 3-4 quarts per day. Also urine output should be copious and clear like water. Please take it easy , don’t  over –exert yourself when you first get up to altitude in Himalayas. Light activity during day is better than sleeping because respiration decrease during sleep, exacerbating the symptoms. Always avoid tobacco and alcohol and other depressant drugs including  tranquilizer and sleeping pills . there are depressants futher decrease the respiratory drive during sleeping resulting in a worsening of the symptoms. Please eat well foods and eat a high carbohydrate diet ( more than 70% of your calories from carbohydrates) when you while at altitude. If begin to show symptoms of moderate altitude illness , please do not go higher until symtoms decrease of symptoms are increase , you should go down , down, down!

Preventive Medication

Diamox : Diamox allow you to breathe faster so that you metabolize more oxygen , thereby minimizing the symptoms casue by poor oxygenation. This Diamox is especially helpful to start at night when respiratory drive is decrease. Since takes while for Diamox to have an effect. It’s a advisable to start taking it 24 hrs before you go to altitude and continue for at least five days higher altitude, and this is recommendation of the Himalayan rescue association medical clinic is 125 mg. twice a day one in the morning and one at night.diamox started dose  is 250 mg  , when you take Diamox you may get possible side effects include tingling of the lips and finger tips , blurring of vision and alteration of taste. Please never , and never try to take more than 250 mg Diamox in once. After taking Diamox please drink lots and lots water it does help a lot.

First aid kit

We would like to basic list to cover the more common ailment that affect trekkers. climbing group , expeditions and all trekkers going to isolated areas will need a more  comprehensive kit.

  • Plaster /band-aids
  • Lodine or water filter (optional)
  • Moleskin/second skin for blister
  • Antiseptic ointment for cuts
  • Anti-bacterial throat lozenges (with antiseptis)
  • Aspirin
  • Oral rehydration salts
  • Antibiotic for guardia of similar microbe
  • Diamox 250 mg 9for altitude sickness)
  • Sterile syringe set (anti-AIDS precaution)
  • Gel and cleaner

Prevention is better than care , have a safe journey!

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