Acute Mountain Sickness


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Start Date

1 Sep 2023

Last Review Date

1 Sep 2023

Expiration Date

31 Aug 2026

Estimated Time To Finish

60 Minutes

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Activity Description

At higher altitudes, the decreased partial pressure of oxygen can cause several pathological presentations, including high altitude pulmonary edema, high altitude cerebral edema, and the more mild, but much more common acute mountain sickness (also referred to as altitude illness or altitude sickness). High altitude pulmonary edema and high altitude cerebral edema are both life-threatening emergencies requiring immediate treatment with prompt descent to lower altitude (or artificial high pressure environment). In contrast, acute mountain sickness can be prevented or managed with oral medication, and does not typically require prompt descent or oxygen supplementation. This activity reviews the evaluation and management of patients with acute mountain sickness and provides recommendations to preventing the condition. This activity highlights the role of the interprofessional team in caring for and counseling patients at risk for acute mountain sickness.

Target Audience

This activity has been designed to meet the educational needs of physicians, physician associates, nurses, pharmacists, and nurse practitioners.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, the learner will be better able to:

  • Describe how to prevent altitude sickness by modifying the rate of ascent.
  • Describe how to use acetazolamide for both prophylaxis and treatment of acute mountain sickness.
  • Describe the prognosis for patients with acute mountain sickness.
  • Identify interprofessional team strategies to coordinate care to more effectively prevent and treat acute mountain sickness.


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Commercial Support: This activity has received NO commercial support.

Continuing Education Accreditation Information

In support of improving patient care, StatPearls, LLC is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.


Physicians and Physician Associates: StatPearls, LLC designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM. Physicians and PAs should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

American Board of Internal Medicine: Successful completion of this CME activity, which includes participation in the evaluation component, enables the participant to earn up to 1.00 MOC points in the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. It is the CME activity provider’s responsibility to submit participant completion information to ACCME for the purpose of granting ABIM MOC credit.

American Board of Pathology: Successful completion of this Continuing Certification activity, which includes participation in the evaluation component, enables the participant to earn up to 1.00 Lifelong Learning (CME) credits in the American Board of Pathology’s Continuing Certification Program.

American Board of Pediatrics: Successful completion of this CME activity, which includes participation in the evaluation component, enables the learner to earn up to 1.00 MOC points in the American Board of Pediatrics’ (ABP) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. It is the CME activity provider’s responsibility to submit learner completion information to ACCME for the purpose of granting ABP MOC credit.

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada: Through an agreement between the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, medical practitioners participating in the Royal College MOC Program may record completion of accredited activities registered under the ACCME’s “CME in Support of MOC” program in Section 3 of the Royal College’s MOC Program.

Please consult your professional licensing board for information on the applicability and acceptance of continuing education credit for this activity.

Method of Participation and Credit

  1. Register for the activity.    
  2. Review the target audience, learning objectives, and disclosure information.
  3. Study the educational content of the enduring material.
  4. Choose the best answer to each activity test question. To receive credit and a certificate, you must pass the test questions with a minimum score of 100%.
  5. Complete the post-activity assessment survey.

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This educational activity was planned and produced in accordance with the ACCME Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education. Faculty may discuss investigational products or off-label uses of products regulated by the FDA. Readers should verify all information before employing any therapies described in this educational activity.

The information provided for this activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical/clinical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition. The information presented does not necessarily reflect the views of StatPearls or any commercial supporters of educational activities on StatPearls expressly disclaims responsibility for any adverse consequences resulting directly or indirectly from information in the course, for undetected error, or through a participant's misunderstanding of the content.

Unapproved Uses of Drugs/Devices: In accordance with FDA requirements, the audience is advised that information presented in this continuing education activity may contain references to unlabeled or unapproved uses of drugs or devices. Please refer to the FDA-approved package insert for each drug/device for full prescribing/utilization information.

Cancellation Policy: Please see the cancellation policy. StatPearls, LLC reserves the right to cancel any course due to unforeseen circumstances.




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