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14.5.2009 Occupational health service works

Heikki is looking after medical equipments
The Medical Center of Mediverkko at altitude of 6100 m
The medical service for the expedition had to prepare for any emergency during the time spent on the mountain. At the beginning it was expected that there will be stomach and respiratory problems. And there were some but were overtaken in first couple of weeks. After that there have been some muscle strains and problems with altitude. Even a small case with pulmonary odema was experienced but it was taken care quickly in basecamp.

The starting point for the expedition has been to be as independent as possible and therefore we haven't needed the support from the local health center yet. Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA) has set up a health center into the basecamp to take care of medical cases of both local sherpas and climbers as well. Mainly all cases can be treated by HRA and in case additional information is needed other expedition doctors are also consulted. Few days ago there were two cases of sherpas that had drunk alcohol mixed with methanol. The other case proved to be lethal but HRA was able to stabilize the other patient and moved to Kathmandu hospital by helicopter. In Finland the medical personnel gets lots of experience on similar cases where people have drunk alcohol mixed with methanol.

As we are facing the last weeks of the expedition the possible cases arising could be injuries when crossing the Khumbu ice fall and possible cases of frostbite during the summit attempt. So far everything has gone very well and that's how we are trying to continue until the last day of the expedition.

All is well!