I’ve received an exciting email to say that Xtreme Everest has received ethical approval to engage in a small number of research studies while on the trek! For those of you who have read this blog from the beginning you may understand what this means, for those of you just joining I’ll give a bit of background.
I am taking part in the Xtreme Everest tenth anniversary trek, ran by Jagged Globe. Ten years ago a research expedition (originally from the UCL Centre for Altitude, Space and Extreme Environment medicine) set out to study how the body works in extreme environments and how people adapt to living at high altitude where oxygen levels are low. They are interested in the effect of low oxygen levels (hypoxia) on human biology and think that by understanding more about this process they may learn how to improve the treatment of critically ill patients who develop hypoxia, and improve mortality rates for these patients.
2007 was the first expedition to Everest, 2009 the second and there was a third in 2013. The people who took part in this research had to go through a variety of tests, and this gave the research team enough data to be able to present their findings in London and to the scientific world. This trek is primarily to present the findings to the Sherpa community and to do some follow up tests with us, the tenth anniversary trekkers!
All the tests will be non-evasive and they will be looking at: altitude sickness; measuring blood pressure, blood oxygen levels and heart function; studying the optic nerve; skin swabs to see what microbes we pick up! and finally there is the option to wear an activity monitor to provide continuous information about heart rate, breathing, sleeping etc.
I’m really excited about this! So far I have been supporting Xtreme Everest by raising money, as they are a charity, but it will be great to actually be part of the research and ultimately provide data that might save lives in the future. Xtreme Everest have done a short article about my trip, and if you would like to make a donation please go to my JustGiving page. Thank you so much to everyone who has donated so far, your support is greatly appreciated.
Tomorrow’s my last day at work … I can’t believe it!