• MCM

30 minutes

Hospital doctors

Altitude sickness and acetazolamide

For most people mountain sickness is a self limiting illness, but it can become life threatening. It is estimated that more than 100 million people per year travel to the hypoxic environments found at altitudes above 2500 m, and at least 10% to 20% of unacclimatised individuals develop acute mountain sickness at this height. Acclimatisation to altitude involves multiple physiological changes, occurring over days to weeks, that enable individuals to function better in these hypoxic environments. If this natural adaptation is surpassed by the rate of exposure to altitude, acute mountain sickness can occur. Acetazolamide can help to prevent acute mountain sickness developing and has fewer side effects than alternative drugs such as dexamethasone, which can mask symptoms and therefore carries greater risks. Read the article on this subject then take the multiple choice assessment.

Learning outcomes

After completing this module, you should know:

  • The risk factors for acute mountain sickness
  • How to diagnose affected patients
  • How to manage affected patients.

Written by:

Jonathan Williamson, Pippa Oakeshott, Jon Dallimore

Contributors:

Assessment questions were written by BMJ clinical editors.

Last updated

31 May 2018

Release date

31 May 2018

Accreditation

Accreditor credit Accreditation statement
ASCOFAME 0:30 hours BMJ Learning has assigned half an hour of CPD/CME credit to this module. BMJ Learning modules are being certified for ASCOFAME VIRTUAL (Colombia).
Austrian Academy of Physicians 0.5 credits, 0:30 hours BMJ Learning modules have been certified for DFT Punkte. DFT Punkte are accepted in Austria
Azerbaijan: The Scientific-Medical Council of the Ministry of Health of Azerbaijan Republic 0.5 credits, 0:30 hours The Scientific-Medical Council of the Ministry of Health of Azerbaijan Republic has formally accredited all BMJ Learning modules for medical doctor`s continuous professional development. Completion of one module is considered as the equivalent of 0.5 credits or 30 minutes of learning.
BMJ Learning 0.5 credits, 0:30 hours BMJ Learning has assigned half an hour of credit to the module and related journal article
Bhutan Medical and Health Council 0.5 credits, 0:30 hours Bhutan Medical and Health Council has formally accredited all BMJ Learning online modules for continuous professional development. Bhutan Medical and Health Council will accept the CME credit provided by BMJ Learning to any registered members of Bhutan Medical and Health Council for renewal of their registration.
Delhi Medical Council 0.5 credits, 0:30 hours The Delhi Medical Council recognises BMJ Learning as being accredited for the purpose of continuous medical education (CME)/continuous professional development (CPD). Doctors can thus claim continuous professional development credits for their activity in BMJ Learning. Completion of one 30 minute module is considered the equivalent of 0.5 credits or half an hour of learning.
Dubai Health Authority 0.5 credits, 0:30 hours BMJ Learning is approved as a CME resource by the Dubai Health Authority (accreditation number 0013/18)
Kuwait Institute for Medical Specialization 0.5 credits, 0:30 hours Kuwait Institute for Medical Specialization (KIMS) of the Ministry of Health, State of Kuwait is the authority responsible for organising all aspects of postgraduate training of medical practitioners and other health professionals in Kuwait. Users within Kuwait can claim 30 minutes or 0.5 credit per half an hour of learning completed.
Lam Dong Medical College 0.5 credits, 0:30 hours This is to state that Lam Dong Medical College recognises BMJ Learning as being accredited for the purposes of continuing professional development in Vietnam. Healthcare professionals and doctors can claim continuing professional development credits for their activity on BMJ Learning.
Oman Medical Specialty Board 0.25 credits The Oman Medical Specialty Board accredits this module for 0.25 credit points under Category II
Pakistan Society of Family Physicians 0.5 credits, 0:05 hours The Pakistan Society of Family Physicians has assigned half an hour of credit to this module.
Royal Australasian College of Physicians 0:30 hours The RACP does not accredit CPD activities, but MyCPD Program guidelines state that fellows can claim a maximum of 50 credits per year for online learning under 'Category 6 - Other Learning Activities'.
The Colleges of Medicine of South Africa 3 credits The Colleges of Medicine of South Africa has accredited this BMJ Learning module (accreditation number: MDB014/254/06/2010)
The Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from Occupied Territories, Health, Labour and Social Affairs of Georgia 0.5 credits, 0:05 hours The Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from Occupied Territories, Health, Labour and Social Affairs of Georgia has assigned 30 minutes of CPD/CME credit to this module.
The Ministry of Public Health in Qatar 0.5 credits, 0:30 hours The Ministry of Public Health in Qatar represented by the Accreditation Department of the Qatar Council for Health Practitioners recognizes the continuous medical education (CME)/continuing professional development (CPD) modules provided through BMJ Learning as Category II self-directed learning activities in the State of Qatar. Healthcare professionals in Qatar can thus claim continuing professional development credits for their activity on BMJ Learning, calculated as 0.5 credits unit per 0.5 hours (Organization Code OP-02).
The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners 0.5 credits, 0:30 hours RNZCGP endorses the British Medical Journal online CME programmes
The University of Conakry 0.5 credits, 0:30 hours This is to state that the University of Conakry recognizes BMJ Learning resources as being accredited for the purposes of continuing professional development in Guinea. Doctors can thus claim continuing professional development credits for their activity on BMJ.
UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention 0.5 credits, 0:30 hours This Program has been awarded 0.5 CPD Credit Hours by the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention.
Ukrainian Ministry of Health 0.5 credits, 0:30 hours The Ukrainian Ministry of Health has assigned 30 minutes of CPD/CME credit to this module.
University of Health Sciences Lahore 0.5 credits, 0:05 hours University of Health Sciences Lahore has assigned half an hour of credit to this module.