1,2 Merrit found in Cuzco, Peru, that most of the travelers knew that it was unsafe to climb higher with symptoms of AMS, but only few knew that check details acetazolamide could be used in the prevention or treatment of AMS.3 Fortunately, knowledge
among trekkers seems to grow as Gaillard found an increase in AMS awareness in the Annapurnas in Nepal between 1986 and 1998 and an increase in the use of acetazolamide from 1% to 12%.4 In a recent study in the Himalayas, it was found that 37% of travelers who stayed above 3,000 m took acetazolamide along, but fewer than half of them (42%) used it when they actually developed AMS.5 The main source of awareness of AMS seems to come from trekking guidebooks; in Gaillard’s
study only 3% mentioned general physicians as a source of information.4 Sixty-nine percent of trekkers in the UK seek pre-travel advice from their family doctor, but although 85% of trekkers in Nepal visited a clinic or general physician for pre-travel vaccinations, click here Merrit found that only 24% indicated to have received AMS information from a physician or health-care professional.3,6 Many on-site studies on AMS are published, but we are not aware of any studies concerning the incidence of AMS in clients of a travel clinic or the compliance with preventive and curative advices. In the Netherlands and Belgium, high altitude travelers visiting a travel clinic get advice on AMS, but we do not know whether they follow this advice, nor do we know how many of them actually develop AMS. The advice of the Dutch Coordination Center of Travel Advices (LCR) and the Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) in Belgium is based largely on the International Travel and Health Guidelines of the World Health Organization. The LCR advises to climb slowly to altitudes above 2,500 m, to sleep no more than 300 m higher than the previous night and to stay two nights
“at a reached level before climbing further.” In Belgium, the ITM advises to stay at least two nights between 1,500 and 2,500 m before climbing above 3,000 m, to climb a maximum of 300 to 500 m per day above an altitude of 3,000 m and no more than 150 m per day from 4,500 m on. It is emphasized Alanine-glyoxylate transaminase that if symptoms of AMS appear, travelers should not climb further until symptoms have disappeared, and to descend at least 500 m when symptoms persist or worsen. In addition, they are advised an adequate fluid intake and to avoid the use of alcohol and sleeping pills. Travelers who experienced AMS on a previous trip are advised to take acetazolamide preventively, starting the day before reaching “the altitude where problems can be expected” (LCR) or the day before starting to climb (ITM) until 2 days after reaching the maximum altitude.