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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Lawrence D. Longo, MD (Loma Linda University)
Description: This revision of the classic work by three authoritative figures in mountaineering, high altitude medicine, and physiology is a welcome update of the second edition published in 1995. In 32 chapters with over 1,400 references, it covers a wide range of subjects including the atmosphere and geography, hematology and blood gas transport, high altitude pulmonary and cerebral edema, acute and chronic mountain sickness, and so forth. The work distills the wealth of experience each of the three authors has as first-rate clinician-scientists and experienced members of high altitude expeditions.
Purpose: The purpose of this new edition is to compile and synthesize recent developments in knowledge and understanding of this field. The work is authoritative and presents an excellent description of complicated issues with a logical flow of ideas.
Audience: The book is written for physiologists and other biologists interested in high altitude hypoxia, students, and nonmedical mountaineers, as well as other sojourners to higher elevations. It serves well these various audiences.
Features: The book contains a wealth of information on every conceivable aspect of physiologic, metabolic, endocrinologic, and other biologic aspects of mountain medicine. Particularly notable are the figures that illustrate the various points and help to sort out mechanisms, such as the decrease in cerebrospinal fluid bicarbonate ion concentration and electrical potential difference (Fig 5.8), and acute mountain sickness (Fig 18.3).
Assessment: This is a unique, rich source of every conceivable aspect of mountain medicine, and the biologic exigencies with which climbers, trekkers, and short stay sojourners have to deal. There is nothing else like it in the literature. The deep knowledge and personal experience the authors have with the various factors of high altitude medicine make this an invaluable resource for all students of life above the flatland.