January 2008 Issue

“Hypoxic Stupidity”

I applaud Paul Bertorelli for promoting hypoxia awareness ("My Payne Stuart Moment," December). Mr. Bertorelli clearly prefers the "reduced breathing method" of hypoxia awareness training over the traditional altitude chamber ride, apparently because the hypoxic symptoms come on slower. My observation is that recognition of the symptoms is the critical thing, not how long they take to become recognizable. Also, using the term "denial" for failing to take appropriate action after the onset of hypoxia is to my mind non-productive. Mr. Bertorelli uses a better term himself when he describes a "state of hypoxic stupidity."

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