To study the effects of oxygen deprivation on the human body, a group of doctors from the University College, London would be trekking all the way to Mount Everest, the highest point on earth, it has been announced.
Oxygen deprivation is a critical problem for patients in intensive care units, it must be remembered. On Mount Everest, the highest point on earth, the amount of oxygen available is only one-third of what exists at sea-level. Hence the peak is considered ideal for the study.
The team will set off on its path-breaking expedition on March 17 and right through April they would be performing a variety of experiments on themselves and on over 200 volunteers at base camp (5,300 metres) at Kathmandu.
The tests range from measuring subjects' blood flow speed and monitoring the impact of altitude on their mental functions. They would also be working on an exercise bike during the experiments.
Comparing the sea and altitude level reactions will help the team find out what physiological changes occur in such conditions. It could also help scientists find out why some people cope better with low oxygen levels.
Expedition leader Dr Mike says the Mount Everest tests would enable doctors to cope better with patients rushed to the ICU.