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Thread: Altitude Sickness

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Big Bear Lake, CA
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    727

    Altitude Sickness

    I hope to get some clarity here.

    New hire started yesterday - he lives at around 3000' elevation and we work/live here at about 7000' or so. He called in this morning saying he got "altitude sickness" or "the spins??" because he descended the mountain too quickly on his way home, so he couldn't come in today. FYI we get millions of visitors up here every year and I've never heard this one yet.

    I spent some time learning what I could on-line this morning and haven't found anything to verify his symptoms other than possibly trauma caused by actually putting in a hard days work.

    After over 40 years in business way up here at 7k' I thought I had heard it all. Anyone know anything about this stuff?
    Bob on the left coast.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New Jersey
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    6,202
    Quote Originally Posted by bkludecke View Post
    I hope to get some clarity here.

    New hire started yesterday - he lives at around 3000' elevation and we work/live here at about 7000' or so. He called in this morning saying he got "altitude sickness" or "the spins??" because he descended the mountain too quickly on his way home, so he couldn't come in today. FYI we get millions of visitors up here every year and I've never heard this one yet.

    I spent some time learning what I could on-line this morning and haven't found anything to verify his symptoms other than possibly trauma caused by actually putting in a hard days work.

    After over 40 years in business way up here at 7k' I thought I had heard it all. Anyone know anything about this stuff?
    I think his "spins" have a different cause. Everything I've hear of altitude sickness concerns moving from higher pressure to lower pressure, not the other way around. In fact, the usual treatment is to go to a lower elevation if possible.

  3. #3
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    Oct 2003
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    Big Bear Lake, CA
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    I agree. I even looked at the pressurization/depressurization of airliners (cabin altitude) which seems to be comparable to this and I come up empty. I'm being careful because in this day and age there are no absolutes when it comes to someone's ability to prevail in a lawsuit, regardless of the apparent foolishness of the claim.
    Bob on the left coast.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Northern illinois
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    16,989
    Quote Originally Posted by bkludecke View Post
    I hope to get some clarity here.

    New hire started yesterday - he lives at around 3000' elevation and we work/live here at about 7000' or so. He called in this morning saying he got "altitude sickness" or "the spins??" because he descended the mountain too quickly on his way home, so he couldn't come in today. FYI we get millions of visitors up here every year and I've never heard this one yet.

    I spent some time learning what I could on-line this morning and haven't found anything to verify his symptoms other than possibly trauma caused by actually putting in a hard days work.

    After over 40 years in business way up here at 7k' I thought I had heard it all. Anyone know anything about this stuff?
    I would be inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt for a week or so. He may be having trouble getting used to the altitude. I agree it is probably not with coming down but with being there all day. Takes a while to adjust.

    in any case, he is on probation for whatever period of time you have for probationary employees and if he does not pan out there is not a lot of downside to just letting him go if he is unsatisfactory.
    Bob

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Chapel Hill, NC
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    33,852
    High Altitude sickness is a real thing and many people get headaches etc from it. He may be more dehydrated then having high altitude sickness. I would certainly give him another chance
    They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy
    She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me
    I can't help it if I'm lucky



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Big Bear Lake, CA
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    727
    My thoughts as well. Hopefully he will straighten out and get through the 90 days. He seems otherwise like a pretty capable young guy.
    Bob on the left coast.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    newburgh,ny
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    468

    Happened in Colorado

    My wife and I were in Colorado two years ago, her and my son hiked at Flat Iron Rocks in Boulder. It was our second day out there from PA = 1200ft, I knew better I just found a tree to sit under. That night my wife got sick with headaches and dizzy spells. Doctor said just that much change will do it, he said take 1 aspirin a day while out there next time to thin your blood.
    A cowboy may get thrown , but they always get up and walk forward.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Huntington Beach, CA (19 Hrs. 22 Min. from Winged Horses)
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkludecke View Post
    My thoughts as well. Hopefully he will straighten out and get through the 90 days. He seems otherwise like a pretty capable young guy.
    watch closely. his "altitude sickness" may be a hangover.

    fyi, i spent a week in new mexico, and colorado.
    did jeeping at well above 10k elevation.

    looked at my gps track. 7/5 went 244 miles, 9 hours, and total ascent was 16,561'
    highest elevation reached was 12,300'. was in durango staying, at 6,500'.

    no sickness, however a late lunch led to emergency
    mexican food being consumed in dolores, colorado.
    trying to get lunch in telluride was a poor life choice.

    it was a close call.
    Last edited by Fulthrotl; 07-10-18 at 02:16 PM.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Springfield, MA, USA
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    Altitude sickness is real, but I would not expect problems going from 7000 ft to 3000 ft unless there is some other issue.

    Dehydration was mentioned as a possibility. High altitude and dry air and you can lose water much faster than you are used to. My first visit to Santa Fe was a real eye opener on this!

    Clogged ear tubes could be another issue.

    Alcohol was mentioned: high altitude can amplify the effects of alcohol, so that consuming what would otherwise be a perfectly reasonable and responsible amount can surprise you and be too much.

    If you are not used to 7000 feet it can impact your judgement; so you might miss signs of the above. As a 20 yr old pilot I flew at 9500 feet unpressurized. I flew perfectly safely, but on the ground I realized that I should not have been giggling over the air at air traffic control's joke....

    -Jon

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Ocala, Florida, USA
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    Perhaps you misunderstood and he said, "attitude sickness."

    Sorry, I just couldn't help myself.


    I know what I don't know, and I know where to go to find it!

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