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Biomedical Sciences - Human Physiology | High Life - A History of High-Altitude Physiology and Medicine

High Life

A History of High-Altitude Physiology and Medicine

West, John B

Originally Published by Oxford University Press 1988

1998, 493 p.


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  • About this book

  • Features a complete history of high-altitude physiology and medicine
  • Comprehensive reference text which should be of value to anyone interested in high altitude and hypoxia
  • Including 185 illustrations
The history of high-altitude physiology and medicine is such a rich and colorful topic that it is surprising no one has undertaken a comprehensive account before. From the early balloonists to various high-altitude expeditions, culminating in the great feat of climbing Mount Everest without supplementary oxygen, the basic biological challenge of hypoxia has underpinned the human experience at high altitude. Of key importance in several areas of medicine including pulmonology, critical care, anesthesiology and cardiology, this topic is also of general interest to other life sciences such as biology and ecology, because hypoxia is encountered by many organisms throughout the animal kingdom.
High Life covers the topic from its earliest beginnings with the Greeks to the last two or three years, and highlights many geographical locations, such as China, Japan, India and Russia. Including 185 illustrations, over 800 references, and three appendixes detailing the chronology of main events, databases of high-altitude publications, tables of high-altitude locations, a list of classical books on the topic and narratives of classical and modern high-altitude expeditions, this book is a comprehensive reference text which should be of value to anyone interested in high altitude and hypoxia.

Content Level » Professional/practitioner

Keywords » High Altitiude - Physiology

Related subjects » Human Physiology

Table of contents 

1. From Classical Greece to the End of the Seventeenth Century.- 2. Eighteenth Century to Paul Bert.- 3. Early High-Altitude Stations and Field Studies.- 4. Oxygen Transfer by Lung and Blood, and the Controversy on Oxygen Secretion.- 5. History of High-Altitude Diseases.- 6. Early Expeditions to Mt. Everest.- 7. Permanent Residents of High Altitude.- 8. World War II.- 9. First Ascents of Mt. Everest.- 10. Studies in the 1960s and 1970s.- 11. Studies at Extreme Altitude.- 12. Other Recent High-Altitude Studies.- Appendix 1. Chronology of Main Events.- Appendix 2. Sources of Information and Bibliographies.- Appendix 3. Some Important Books in the History of High-Altitude Physiology and Medicine.- Notes.- References.

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