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Nurses visit Nepal to celebrate pioneering hypoxia research

Xtreme Everest project comprises nurses, clinicians and scientists who conduct experiments at high altitude.
Xtreme Everest team

Nurses have taken part in an anniversary visit to Nepal ten years after a pioneering project studied hypoxia experienced by patients in intensive care units.

The Xtreme Everest project comprises intensive care doctors, nurses and scientists who conduct experiments on themselves and other volunteers at high altitude. These tests help them to develop therapies to improve the survival rates of patients.

One in five people in the UK ends up in intensive care, and lack of oxygen is a major contributory factor in many deaths.

Everest trek

The expedition in March and April included nine practising or former nurses from across the UK.

The team trekked to Everest Base Camp and gave presentations to Nepalese clinicians and the local community.

Kay Mitchell, critical care senior research

Nurses have taken part in an anniversary visit to Nepal ten years after a pioneering project studied hypoxia experienced by patients in intensive care units.


Kay Mitchell (fourth from left) with the core Xtreme Everest team. Picture: Xtreme Everest

The Xtreme Everest project comprises intensive care doctors, nurses and scientists who conduct experiments on themselves and other volunteers at high altitude. These tests help them to develop therapies to improve the survival rates of patients.

One in five people in the UK ends up in intensive care, and lack of oxygen is a major contributory factor in many deaths.

Everest trek

The expedition in March and April included nine practising or former nurses from across the UK.

The team trekked to Everest Base Camp and gave presentations to Nepalese clinicians and the local community.

Kay Mitchell, critical care senior research manager based at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, was instrumental in setting up the Xtreme Everest project.

Ms Mitchell, former acting managing director of the centre for nurse and midwife-led research at University College London, led a trek and was project manager for the latest trip.

Hi-tech gear

She said six members of the team wore Hexoskins – clothing that collects continuous heart rate, ECG, tidal volume and respiratory rate data, alongside oxygen saturation data – during trekking days and while sleeping at various altitudes.

‘Having the chance to go back to Nepal to share our results with the Kathmandu medical community and our Sherpa friends was wonderful.

‘We could not have carried out the research without their support, and the results from our healthy volunteers is driving the research studies we now perform on critically ill patients.’

For more information on the Xtreme Everest trip, click here 


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