Wilderness medical society practice guidelines for the prevention and treatment of acute altitude illness: 2014 update

Andrew M. Luks, Scott E. McIntosh, Colin K. Grissom, Paul S. Auerbach, George W Rodway, Robert B. Schoene, Ken Zafren, Peter H. Hackett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

96 Scopus citations


To provide guidance to clinicians about best practices, the Wilderness Medical Society convened an expert panel to develop evidence-based guidelines for prevention and treatment of acute mountain sickness, high altitude cerebral edema, and high altitude pulmonary edema. These guidelines present the main prophylactic and therapeutic modalities for each disorder and provide recommendations about their role in disease management. Recommendations are graded based on the quality of supporting evidence and balance between the benefits and risks/burdens according to criteria put forth by the American College of Chest Physicians. The guidelines also provide suggested approaches to prevention and management of each disorder that incorporate these recommendations. This is an updated version of the original WMS Consensus Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Acute Altitude Illness published in Wilderness & Environmental Medicine 2010;21(2):146-155.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S4-S14
JournalWilderness and Environmental Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014
Externally publishedYes



  • acetazolamide
  • acute mountain sickness
  • dexamethasone
  • high altitude
  • high altitude cerebral edema
  • high altitude pulmonary edema

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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