Highaltitude Pulmonary Edema

HAPE is a swelling and filling of the lungs with fluid, caused by rapid ascent. It occurs at high altitudes and limits the oxygen supply to the body.

a. HAPE occurs under conditions of low oxygen pressure, is encountered at high elevations (over 8,000 feet), and can occur in healthy soldiers. HAPE may be considered a form of, or manifestation of, AMS since it occurs during the period of susceptibility to this disorder.

b. HAPE can cause death. Incidence and severity increase with altitude. Except for acclimatization to altitude, no known factors indicate resistance or immunity. Few cases have been reported after 10 days at high altitudes. When remaining at the same altitude, the incidence of HAPE is less frequent than that of AMS. No common indicator dictates how a soldier will react from one exposure to another. Contributing factors are:

• A rapid or abrupt transition to high altitudes.

• Strenuous physical exertion.

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