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Backpacker Magazine – January 2012

Escape Plan: Recognize HAPE

Identify this high-altitude killer.

by: Kristy Holland


Only half of high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) victims show early signs of altitude sickness, so its onset might come as a surprise. Symptoms usually appear on the second night at altitude so be on alert, and descend immediately to stop them.

>> Early signs Dry cough, reduced performance, shortness of breath (while moving and at rest)

>> Later symptoms Gurgling noises when breathing, cough that pro- duces phlegm (frothy sputum is often bloody and pink), chest pain, and increased heart rate and respiration

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Reader Rating: -


Mar 06, 2012

Perhaps silver buffalo should write the article for us, lol..his was already more informative, and much better written.

Colin Krieger
Mar 03, 2012

I have to agree that this information isn't very helpful. Am I missing something? Only appears to be a few lines about symptomology and nothing about procedure or treatment. Guess you've inspired me to learn more elsewhere...

silver buffalo
Mar 02, 2012

Really..........barely one full line to describe the symptoms of early/mild HAPE, and only two and a half for "later" signs??? This is pitiful.....why bother?? Why not utilize professional resources such as the folks from Wildness Medical Institute, Wilderness Medical Associates, SOLO or some organization to do justice to the article. It's ridiculous to claim that only half of HAPE victims show early signs of altitude sickness. Perhaps the person who wrote this article can't recognize them, but the symptoms will be there if you pay attention. If you aren't going to get your facts straight, write about something else. Do your homework.


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