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Hand-carried ultrasound headed to the top of Mount Everest.

A hand-carried, battery-powered ultrasound system will be part of an upcoming expedition to the summit of Mount Everest. Researchers plan to use the system to study oxygen deprivation in mountain climbers, with the hope of improving treatment for critically ill patients.

The Xtreme Everest 2007 expedition is part of an extensive research program studying human performance at an extreme altitude. In the study, more than 200 volunteers will undergo periodic examinations as they climb progressively higher into the thin atmosphere. The researchers hope to learn more about hypoxia, or low oxygen levels, and apply their findings to the care of critically ill children and adults.

The Xtreme Everest team has selected the MicroMaxx hand-carried ultrasound system to perform cerebral perfusion studies on the climbers. The laptop-sized MicroMaxx system represents the technology crossover point between hand-carried ultrasound and larger, high-performance, cart-based systems, according to manufacturer SonoSite of Bothell, Wash. The MicroMaxx can go from "off" to scanning within seconds, an important feature in many medical situations where seconds count.

The expedition team hopes to use the Everest expedition to show parallels between the human body pushed to its limits during critical illness and changes that occur in extreme environments. The low oxygen levels in the blood of high-altitude climbers are similar to those in critically ill patients with severe heart and lung conditions who are on breathing machines, "blue babies" and cystic fibrosis sufferers. More information on the Xtreme Everest expedition is available at
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Title Annotation:in the news
Publication:ASRT Scanner
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2007
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