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Going to extremes to understand critical illness

The London Clinic is proud to sponsor and provide clinical testing for the Xtreme Everest 2 expedition.

In March 2013, the Xtreme Everest 2 team will take 200 people (including children and identical twins) up to Everest Base Camp.  The aim of the expedition is to study the human ability to adapt to low levels of oxygen at high altitude, in order to develop treatments that will benefit critically ill patients in intensive care.

The Xtreme Everest 2 team is headed by Dr Dan Martin, Honorary Consultant in Anaesthesia and Critical Care Medicine.  Dr Martin led the previous Xtreme Everest expedition in 2007 and has since been named by the BBC as one of the “top five daredevils who helped science”. 

Sea-level testing is taking place at The London Clinic from December 2012.  These tests will include: exercise testing, blood sampling, lung function, skeletal muscle tissue oxygen saturation, cough frequency analysis, electrocardiogram, trans-cranial ultrasound and sublingual microcirculation, amongst others. 

Why is the expedition so important?

  • One in five of us will end up in intensive care at some point in our life.
  • Despite intensive care being one of the most sophisticated areas of hospital care, even in the 21st century there is still limited understanding of why some people survive and others do not.
  • Xtreme Everest 2 is a dedicated team of intensive care doctors, nurses and scientists.  The team members will conduct experiments on themselves and other volunteers at high altitude in order to develop novel therapies to improve the survival rates of their patients.
  • When the trek is full it will include: 112 adult trekkers, 20 child trekkers and 42 Sherpa adult trekkers, as well a team of around 50 research and investigative scientists and doctors.

Watch this space for Xtreme Everest 2 updates, insight into some of the trekkers’ motivation, and media coverage.

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