Mountain Sickness (cont.)
Altitude Sickness Diagnosis
The diagnosis of acute altitude sickness is based on symptoms. After traveling to a high altitude, symptoms of loss of appetite, generalized weakness, dizziness, shortness of breath during exertion, nausea, or a headache associated with insomnia may indicate altitude sickness.
The doctor may hear crackles or rales (a rattling sound) when listening to the patient's lungs.
Shortness of breath at rest may indicate HAPE.
The pateint's vital signs may be abnormal and may include low-grade fever and faster-than-normal heart and breathing rates.
Pulse oximetry, which measures oxygen saturation of the blood, may reveal that the patient's oxygen saturation is lower than expected for that particular altitude.
The doctor may treat the patient with fever and cough for pneumonia in addition to HAPE.
HACE is diagnosed if a person's mental state is altered or coordination is lost at high altitude.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/10/2014
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