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High Altitude Illness: Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) & Lake Louise Score

High Altitude (HA) illness describes a range of conditions; Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), High Altitude Pulmonary Oedema (HAPE) and High Altitude Cerebral Oedema (HACE).

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is the most common, affecting up to 60% of individuals who ascend over 600 meters(m)/day above 4000m (Maggiorini, 2006).

AMS is characterised by a non-specific set of symptoms experienced at HA including headache, sleep disturbance, nausea and vomiting, dyspnoea, tachycardia and malaise (Borowska et al., 2014; Carod-Artal, 2014).

No objective physiological variable has been identified to diagnose AMS, and it is thus scored via self-assessment questionnaire’s, notably the Lake Louise Score (LLS) (Roach et al., 1993; Shah et al., 2105).

The presence of a headache with a LLS over 3 indicates AMS in individuals who have rapidly ascended above 2500m.

Sharpen the Axe.

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