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pulse oximeters and altitude acclimatization
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Chris Jackson
(chris_jackson) - F
pulse oximeters and altitude acclimatization on 08/04/2008 23:10:42 MDT Print View

While acclimatizing I follow the mountaineers maxim, `sleep no higher than 1000 ft above your previous nights camp'. But I'm curious as to whether a pulse oximeter can be used to provide a more accurate estimate of maximum sleeping altitude?

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: pulse oximeters and altitude acclimatization on 08/05/2008 17:08:31 MDT Print View

Chris,
I suspect you might be able to derive a partial answer by analyzing some of the data provided by a pulse oximeter. I'll also bet you could get a better informed answer to your question if you could pull Dean Fellabaum(an MD) away from his lovefest with Rog and Timothy over in Chaff. Ditto John P (Shannon? also an MD) last sighted in the Ciprofloxacin thread.
My 2 cents: Stick with the 1000' rule of thumb and listen closely to what your body is telling you-it's got a pulse oximeter hard wired into the system. You may well find that you can exceed the 1000' ROT as you gain more experience. Only time will tell.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: pulse oximeters and altitude acclimatization on 08/07/2008 07:37:40 MDT Print View

I have not gotten into mountaineering so have no experience with pulse oximeters for that.

In a brief search online it appears they are used to determine how well someone is acclimatizing to a given altitude. I suspect the outfitters have a lower limit of oxygen saturation that must be maintained before a client is allowed to continue going up the mountain. And if the oxygen saturation is below that level, the client is taken down to a lower camp.

http://www.high-altitude-medicine.com/SaO2-table.html

Edited by jshann on 08/07/2008 07:39:25 MDT.