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Headache at High Altitude 

Headache at High Altitude
Headache at High Altitude
Acute Care Casebook

Renee N. Salas


Headache is a condition that medical practitioners commonly encounter with a broad differential that ranges from the benign to the life threatening. High altitude environments have unique diseases that present with headache, which this case will outline. Providers practicing at high altitude must be facile with diagnosing these conditions such as high altitude headache and acute mountain sickness. Astute providers must also assess for high altitude cerebral edema and high altitude pulmonary edema as they can co-exist with acute mountain sickness. Given that radiographic and laboratory testing are often not available, determining a diagnosis based on history and physical is essential with the knowledge that “normal” vital signs differ from that of sea level.

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