Health on Kilimanjaro: Severe AMS – HACE and HAPE

altitude sickness kilimanjaroAccording to the National Library of Medicine, the most serious symptoms of altitude sickness are due to oedema (fluid in the tissues of the body). At very high altitude, humans can get either high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE, water build up on the lungs like pneumonia!) or high altitude cerebral edema (HACE, pressure build up in the brain!). Symptoms that may indicate life-threatening altitude sickness include: High Altitude Pulmonary Edema symptoms can look like pneumonia but can come on very quickly. Be on the lookout for:

  • persistent dry rattly cough
  • fever
  • shortness of breath even when resting

If you get any of these symptoms tell your guide! High Altitude Cerebral Edema – HACE (swelling of the brain) actually looks like someone is drunk and like a drunk, the person will often misdiagnose themselves. Look out for yourself and everyone in your group for:

  • headache that does not respond to analgesics such as ibuprofen
  • slurring of words in speech
  • glazed, unfocused eyes
  • an unsteady wobbly gait
  • nausea or vomiting

If these symptoms occur and are ignored and you do not descend unconsciousness can follow quickly. IF IN DOUBT DESCEND. AND PLEASE NOTE NOW THAT IF YOUR GUIDE THINKS YOU ARE ILL HE HAS AUTHORITY TO TAKE YOU DOWN AT ANY TIME.

Need Help? Chat with us
Mount Kilimanjaro Routes
Compare items
  • Total (0)