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Pulse oximeters

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Re: Pulse oximeters

Postby sgladbach » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:31 am

Any readings are still very much tied to the climbers personal health.

When I attempted Cho Oyu, someone in camp was doing a study. Most were saturating at 80-90% and doing fine. I was saturating as the best in camp, never falling below 95% at high base camp (18,700'.)

However, for me, that was not high enough! I take some fairly strong meds for anxiety and depression disorders. Since these type drugs are not studied at altitude, I go off those meds when I climb high. (It doesn't take much to figure out that a med designed to lower your heart rate and prevent hyper-ventilating (Clonazepam- minor tranquiler / sedative) would be a bad idea at elevation!)

So even with a very good O2 saturation, the absence of the anxiolytic meds led to the same symptoms as a very low O2 saturation (i.e. chain-stokes breathing, sleep apnea, etc.) These symptoms eventually led to me aborting my attempt while climbers in the lower half of the 80%s succeeded.

My point: Don't go comparing your O2 sats to anyone else's. I think you should leave the thing at home. El Hombre is right, you must use other measures (psychological and physiological variations from your personal norm) to evalute how you are doing.
"We knocked the bastard off." Hillary, 1953
"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." Hillary, 2003
Couldn't we all use 50 years of humble growth?

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Re: Pulse oximeters

Postby nyker » Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:09 pm

Interesting observations...goes to illustrate that there are a lot of things numbers cannot convey.

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