Severe Hypoxia: Insights from Extreme Altitude

  • J. B. West
Part of the Developments in Critical Care Medicine and Anesthesiology book series (DCCA, volume 25)


Severe tissue hypoxia is frequently a feature of patients in the intensive care setting, and two major experiments during the last ten years have greatly clarified the physiological effects of severe hypoxia in man. They are the 1981 American Medical Research Expedition to Everest (AMREE) (1) and Operation Everest II (OE II) in which eight subjects lived for 40 days in a low pressure chamber in a simulated climb of the mounta in (2). In this brief presentation, I shall summarize some of the most interesting results from both experiments.


Blood Lactate Severe Hypoxia Hypoxic Pulmonary Vasoconstriction Pulmonary Capillary Oxygen Dissociation Curve 
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  1. 1.
    West J.B., Human physiology at extreme altitudes on Mount Everest. Science 223:748–88, 1984CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Houston C.S., Sutton J.R., Cymerman A., Reeves J.T.: Operation Everest II: man at extreme altitude. J Appl Physiol 63:877–882, 1987PubMedGoogle Scholar

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1992

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  • J. B. West

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