The team of doctors conducting high-altitude medical experiments on Everest was involved in helping save a stricken climber.
Usha Bistra, a Nepalese climber, was found by Canadian Meagan McGrath high on the mountain after reportedly having been abandoned by her leader after she collapsed attempting to summit.
She was brought down by Ms McGrath and fellow mountaineers and treated for cerebral oedema – swelling of the brain, a common symptom of acute mountain sickness. The Caudwell Xtreme Everest team which, as grough reported, had set up the highest ever medical laboratory, began her treatment and arranged for the 22-year-old to be taken to lower altitude.
Usha Bistra’s abandonment reopened debate about the curious ethics of climbing on Everest, which is increasingly seen as a mainly mercenary exercise. Last year, Lincoln Hall survived being left for dead. British climber David Sharp was not so lucky and perished on the mountain, having been passed by up to 30 other climbers.
Dr Mike Crocott, who is leading the expedition, said “We also saw numerous other casualties at Camp 2 and beyond.
“Help was provided in the form of medical expertise, oxygen and in evacuation when climbers were in distress. Up there it is a hostile environment and we were happy to help out. I have always spoken of the gratitude we have to the Sherpas, so it was gratifying to give back to the Nepali teams when they needed our help.”
The Xtreme Everest climbing team is now back at base camp, where experiments continue on the 200 volunteers who trekked to the camp.