BRC researchers return to Everest


10 years on from the first Xtreme Everest expedition, Southampton’s Prof Mike Grocott and colleagues from University College London and Duke University in the USA have returned to Nepal to share the findings of their research.

Tackling lack of oxygen

One in five of us enter critical care at some point in our lives, with 40% - nearly half – dying, often due to a lack of oxygen when our bodies need it most.

Over 10 years and two major expeditions, the Xtreme Everest team has used the oxygen-thin air of the Himalayas to simulate that hypoxia (lack of oxygen) experienced by many critical care patients.

Now in their 10th anniversary year, they’re back in Nepal performing more experiments in the mountains, and sharing their research findings with Nepalese clinicians, and the Sherpa community. 

The 4,500 mile knowledge exchange

The two-day KnO2wledge Kathmandu: Oxygen conference in Kathmandu will present the knowledge and research findings around the Xtreme Everest expeditions, covering physiology and illness at altitude, better clinical oxygen care and infectious diseases.

A collaboration with the Nepal Mountain Medicine Society, it will involve clinicians and healthcare professionals from across Nepal. University hospital Southampton critical care consultant Max Jonas will also present experiences from Southampton’s Intensive Care Unit, distributing 40 copies of the latest ICU clinical textbooks to Nepalese hospitals and medical centres.

A week later, on 7 April 2017 the team will head to the Sherpa city of Namche to share the findings of their research into how Sherpas have adapted, and respond to altitude better than lowlanders.

“Both events are a great way to celebrate the last ten years, and the work that’s advanced our understanding of low-oxygen effects, physiological adaptation and targets for better oxygen therapy” Comments Prof Grocott, critical care research lead for the NIHR Southampton Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit. “The event in Namche is particularly important to us however. We work closely with our participants and families across our critical care research, and the Sherpa community have been a central part of that through the Xtreme Everest studies.”

Celebrating 10 years on Everest

The expedition and meetings are part of several events celebrating Xtreme Everest’s 10th anniversary, culminating in a conference at the Royal Society of Medicine on 23 and24 May - the exact dates the 2007 expedition summited on Everest - and a public event looking back at 60 years of research on Everest at the Royal geographic Society on the evening of 24 May. More information is available on the Xtreme Everest website, here.

Posted on Tuesday 28 March 2017