Operation Everest II: Altitude decompression sickness during repeated altitude exposure.

M. K. Malconian, P. Rock, J. Devine, A. Cymerman, J. R. Sutton, C. S. Houston

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18 Scopus citations


The incidence of altitude decompression sickness (ADS) was studied in 23 altitude scientists during repeated altitude exposure to 15,000-29,000 ft (4572-8839 m) in a decompression chamber. Prior to each altitude exposure, a 30-60-mm pre-breathing period with 100% oxygen took place. Ascent was made to an altitude at a rate of 2000 ft X min-1. The altitudes studied ranged from 15,000-29,000 ft (4572-8839 m). Symptoms reported appear consistent with previous reports. Incidence of ADS at 26,000-29,000 ft (7925-8839 m) was 29.7%, during 274 chamber flights and 1264.6 h of altitude time. Incidence appeared related to frequency of exposure, severity of altitude, and physical activity. Incidence was not related to age, duration of exposure, or body index (weight/height 2). This high incidence of ADS reported in this study is similar to that reported by NASA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)679-682
Number of pages4
JournalAviation Space and Environmental Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1987


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