Training on high altitude mountain medicine

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Background

Glacier hydrologists, glaciologists  and other experts working in related fields at ICIMOD and its partner institutes work regularly at high altitudes (between 4,000 to 6,000 meters) to collect data on  glacier mass balance, snow, weather and hydrological conditions in the region. The work is usually carried out with no accompanying medical professional. Group members cannot rely on immediate evacuation in case of emergency owing to mountainous terrain and variable weather conditions.  

To address this need, the Cryosphere Initiative is organising a two day training on high altitude mountain medicine. The training will provide participants with crucial medical skills that are useful during high altitude field work. The training will be conducted by Dr. E. Cauchy, who has 20 years of experience as an emergency medical doctor working with a rescue team in the Mont Blanc Massif in the Alps.  He is also the founder and chief executive of Ifremmont (Mountain Medicine Institute for Training and Research), and has extensive experience as a teacher and researcher in mountain medicine. 

Dr. Cauchy has also authored several popular science books and scientific articles about frostbites and hypothermia, mountain sickness and telemedicine.  About 25 participants are expected to attend the training. 

Objectives

  • Learn about cold related diseases (pathologies),
  • Understanding and optimizing acclimatization,
  • How to use a Gamow bag (in inflatable pressure bag),
  • Constraints related to remote and cold places,
  • Primary care and how to evacuate, 
  • Preparation, organisation and use first aid kit,
  • Decision making and valorisation of experience of both the client(s) and the medical doctor.

Benefits

The participants after the training are entitled to use the services by SOS MAM emergency call centre implemented by Ifremmont (France) and GRIMM (Switzerland). The centre is staffed by on-call physicians for emergency situations.