Intended for healthcare professionals


Avoiding deaths on Everest

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 14 September 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:603
  1. Stephen P Cobley, lecturer (,
  2. Jim McKenna, professor2,
  3. John Allan, lecturer
  1. 2 Fairfax Hall, Carnegie Faculty of Sport & Education, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds LS3 6QS

    EDITOR—Sutherland attributes prolonged exposure to high altitude through protracted rates of ascent as a fundamental cause of deaths on Everest,1 but the success of most expeditions emphasises that death at high altitude is avoidable.

    The Everest West Ridge expedition ( highlights the importance of a collective, inclusive approach in extreme conditions that incorporates detailed planning, dynamic leadership, and a holistic maintenance of the overall aim. …

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