Nepal 2017 AMS Research Expedition
Data Collection and Preparation
It is 2pm here in Calgary, Alberta on May 2nd 2017 and Dr. Trevor Day, who is the Associate Professor of Physiology at Mount Royal University, along with his colleagues and students are busy collecting valuable data that will be used as a baseline against the data that will be collated throughout our upcoming expedition to Nepal or more specifically the Sargmartha National Park in the Himalaya, which sits under the immense shadow of Mount Everest.
Dr. Trevor Day and his collaborators from MRU, the University of Alberta, Queens University and University College Cork (Ireland) are trying to characterize how people respond to incremental high altitude ascent and work out why some people get sicker than others, as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is difficult to predict via an individual’s demographics.
Our team of over 30 participants which includes Professors, Ph.D’s, Students, Residents, Guides, and Photographers will be leaving for Kathmandu in 2 days, traveling from Canada, Ireland, and the US to join up with a team of Sherpa Guides, porters, horses and Yaks who will be graciously keeping us safe, organized and will ensure the nearly 900kg of instruments and research equipment, trekking gear, and photography equipment arrives along with us as we make our way from Kathmandu to Lukla, and up through the Himalaya as far as Mt. Everest base camp at approximately 5380m (17,600 ft).
Over the last 4 days prior to departure each research participant will have an opportunity to offer up baseline data collected via a myriad of instruments such as Transcranial Doppler Ultrasonographs, Electrocardiograms, Electromyograms, Spirometers, Sleep Aptnea monitors and Blood Pressure monitors as well as a host of other tech including advanced “fit-bit” wearables (pictured to the right on participant Alexandra Chiew’s left wrist) that each member will wear throughout the duration of the trip. More on these instruments in later posts.
Each one of these instruments will be packed into Pelican cases and shipped to Nepal along with our team and will arrive at the end of every trekking day on the back of a horse (at the “lower” elevations) or a Yak (who are much better prepared for higher altitudes).
With the data collection nearing completion tomorrow and with the intense level of trip preparation and logistics coming to a close, each member of this year’s Nepal 2017 AMS Research Expedition can finally allow excitement and anticipation to take over as we finish packing , re-packing, and re-re-packing again to get our gear weights under control as we near May 4th, and our flights via Hong Kong to Kathmandu and the breathtaking Himalaya.