Acute mountain sickness (AMS)
It is the negative health effect of high altitude, caused by rapid exposure to low amounts of oxygen at high elevation. People who climb on Kilimanjaro might experience the early symptoms of Altitude Sickness. if you feel one of the symptoms mentioned below, please inform your guides as soon as possible. Our guides are well trained, they are Certified Wilderness and First Aid Responder CPR, they are aware of the mountain sickness. You don’t have to worry they have the big ability to recognize different changes that can appear to you as you hike to the high altitude. Just follow their advice
Common Symptoms of AMS
- Nausea & dizziness
- Poor appetite
- Shortness of breath
- Poor sleeping
If you feel any of these symptoms, please tell your guide. Every morning and evening our guides will be measuring your oxygen saturation and pulse rate by using a pulse oximeter. If they can recognize that the symptoms are getting worse, they will perform a quick first aid and taking you down to the low altitude until acclimatization can occur.
High Altitude Cerebral Oedema (HACE)
Caused by brain swelling, it is very dangerous and can kill very quickly if not treated as soon as possible. Normally HACE symptoms tend to set in at night time. So if any person from our group gets sick even at midnight, our guides are very careful, they will perform a quick first aid, giving cylinder oxygen and immediately descend the patient to the lower altitude.
These are the common symptoms of HACE
- Loss of consciousness
- Severe headache
- Increase of clumsiness
- Loss of coordination example ataxia
- Loss of memory
High Altitude Pulmonary Oedema (HAPE)
Caused by fluid collecting in the lungs, it is very dangerous and can kill very quickly if not treated as soon as possible. It happens due to the fast ascending to a higher altitude. If your guide advice to descend, don’t refuse, even if taking nifedipine or acetazolamide just descend because it is the only reliable cure.
- These are the common symptoms of HAPE
- Trouble breathing even when resting
- Very tight chest
- Suffocation/feeling tired
- Froth in saliva or spit
- Blood in saliva
- Confusion, hallucination, and irrational behavior
Prevention of altitude sickness
- Ascend slowly (pole-pole)
- Drink well, 3-4 litters of water per day
- Eat well and regularly
- Sleep well, give yourself time to rest
- Wear proper warm gears (Make sure you are warm enough)
- Avoid wet boots, gloves, & socks
- Follow instructions from your guides
- Remember to keep your hands clean every time before eating to avoid stomach problems which can cause dehydration
- Before using medication like Acetazolamide or Diamox and others, it is important to take advice from your doctor
- Be prepared for altitude sickness even if it doesn’t happen often, do a general health check-up before you come to Kilimanjaro.
- If you feel un normal condition, please tell your guides.
- Avoid smoking and drinking of alcohol on the mountain
- Avoid ascending further as soon as you realize the symptoms of altitude sickness
- If your condition will be worse DESCEND DESCEND DESCEND.
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