CASE Medicine
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BLOG: Ali Cobb  13th Aug 2010
Living on top of the Alps

Imagine living above the clouds, looking out of the window and seeing the top of the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc. For us, its not imagination; its our daily situation. After three days at 4559m altitude most mountain sickness is over and we are fully able to enjoy our research at the Margherita Hut.

Our day starts around 6 am with blood and urine sampling, measurements of exhaled nitric oxide and our daily diary. We (think) we function quite well with oxygen levels around 80%. By the time we have breakfast most other guests have left the hut aiming for another 4000m peak.

We are aiming to get a better understanding of human adaptation of hypoxia (low oxygen) so our day continues with research; exercise tests on the bike, measurements of brain blood flow, muscle thickness, pulmonary artery pressure, nitric oxide levels and much more.

A few investigators have time in the afternoon for a walk in our back yard; Zumsteinspitze (4563m) was climbed in fresh fallen snow by some of the team this afternoon. Back at the hut research continues?

Written by Edith Kortekaas

XE Blogs:
Other blogs by Ali Cobb:
Xtreme Alps leave the Margherita Hut
The final day for Xtreme Alps at the Margherita Hut
The packing begins at the Margherita Hut
The final day of CPEX testing for the Xtreme Alps Team
Yesterday was too good to be true...!
Day 1 of CPEX for Team B

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