Using a new plateau hyperbaric chamber to alleviate high altitude hypoxia: Rabbit and human studies

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Abstract

Objectives:

To validate the effects of the new plateau hyperbaric chamber on alleviating high altitude hypoxia on Mount Kun Lun.

Methods:

A prospective, controlled study of rabbits and adult volunteers was conducted at altitudes of 355, 2880 and 4532 m. We obtained arterial blood samples from rabbits and volunteers before and after hyperbaric treatment. The respiratory rate, heart rate, and blood pressure (BP) of adult volunteers were monitored during hyperbaric treatment.

Results:

The mean PaO2 levels of experimental group rabbits and volunteers increased significantly after 60 min of hyperbaric treatment at 350, 2880 and 4532 m. The mean PaCO2 and pH levels of rabbits were not significant different before and after hyperbaric treatment at each altitude. The mean PaCO2 and pH levels were not significant different at 355 m in the human study. However, at 2880 and 4532 m, pH fell with increasing PaCO2 levels in humans before and after hyperbaric treatment.

Conclusions:

The new multiplace plateau hyperbaric chamber may be used to alleviate plateau hypoxia by increasing patient PaO2. However, its value in treating AMS must be confirmed in field conditions.

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