AK
Dr. Amit KalariaEmergency Medicine

High Altitude Cerebral Edema

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High altitude cerebral edema (HACE) Is a form of altitude sickness that occurs in people who quickly go to high altitude typically occurring in mountain climbers
It occurs because the body does not have time to acclimate to the sudden change in elevation and this leads to fluid leaking from the blood into the brain causing swelling.
Symptoms can include confusion, loss of consciousness, unsteady gait, visual changes and headaches
Treatment involves descending to a lower altitude, providing supplemental oxygen and steroid treatment. Severe cases may require hyperbaric treatment
The best prevention for HACE climbing slowly, no more than 1000 feet per day. Allowing the body to gradually adjust to the change in altitude is the best prevention when it comes to any form of high altitude sickness