Thursday, January 29, 2009
HAPE Country News
High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE), a non-cardiogenic form of pulmonary edema, remains a threat to people who ascend quickly to elevations above 2500 m (8250 ft). In a recent report in Wilderness & Environmental Medicine, Vol 19, No 4, 2008, the journal of the Wilderness Medical Society (www.wms.org), Drs. Stream and Grissom briefly reviewed a study showing inhaled salmeterol reduces the risk of HAPE in HAPE-prone individuals by 50 percent. (You' ll have to chat with a doc about a 'script for salmeterol.) But, more importantly, it was reported that there is nothing new in the preferred treatment for the problem: patients who descend 500-1000 m (1650-3300 ft) and/or who are treated with supplemental oxygen at a rate high enough to keep their oxygen saturation at 90 percent or more, get better--given adequate time. Those patients on O2 should avoid strenuous activity as well.