Re: Oxygen

Date:         24 May 99 01:52:26 
From:         evmoore@bellsouth.net (Eric Moore)
References:   1 2 3
Next article
View raw article
  or MIME structure

In article <airliners.1999.522@ohare.Chicago.COM>, kls@ohare.Chicago.COM
(Karl Swartz) wrote:

> >As a general question of high can someone go with out oxygen, climbers have
> >have reached the top of Mt Everest (29,000Ft) without supplemental oxygen.

Climbers on Everest usually acclimate at base camp (~18,000') for five
weeks!  (Guess they read a lot of books).  This increases the red blood
cell count (for improved 02 capture ).  Besides Oxygen starvation at this
altitude, there is the problem of edema (in its many forms) due to low
atmospheric pressure.   Renal and pulmonary functions can adjust over this
period.

The problem with rapid decompression at high altitudes ( >25,000' ) is
compounded by the effects of gases in tissues and the blood stream coming
out of solution rapidly due to the high pressure gradient between the body
and the exterior.   If the aircraft doesn't descend quickly after sudden
decompression, passengers (and crew) may suffer from decompression
sickness, stroke, and respiratory failure -- irrespective of  supplemental
O2.