The depleting level of Oxygen or illnesses can be traumatic at 17,000 feet on Everest. To make matters worse, if you fall sick or get injured, rescuing you out of there can be really tough and expensive. It’s a dire situation and staying alive is most important! Most of the mountaineers/trekkers can afford to fly out of Everest through a Rescue Chopper (assigned by your insurance company), however, many can’t make it out due to constraints of time. Your best option is to look out for Dr. Luanne Freer and Everest ER.
What is Everest ER?
The Everest ER (a non-profit) is a tent-based medical clinic located at the Everest Base Camp operating throughout the climbing seasons, founded in 2003 by Dr. Luanne Freer (a volunteer physician for the nonprofit Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA) in Nepal). The team of Everest ER provides altitude-experienced health care and preventative education to the climbing community and their support staff, also using proceeds from this to subsidize free/low cost health care for the local inhabitants of Khumbu region.
90% of Everest ER patients are climbers or their support staff; the remaining 10% are trekkers-through or media and just over half of the patients every year are native Nepalese.
Everest ER treats?
Mountain sickness, HAPE and HACE, Altitude Illness Guideline, Altitude Cough, Cold Injury, Diarrhea, Medical Kits, Hydration, Immunization, Eyes.
Where does Dr. Freer finds her Compassion from at 17,000ft?
Dr. Freer, a physician from Bozeman, Montana, made her medical camp her second home. Operating on her table at such great altitude is equally toughening and challenging experience for her.
When asked about her venture, Dr. Freer remarked:
The way I ended up here was simply a product of following my passion for the mountains and luckily being open minded enough to follow them. I suppose I can thank my intuition for just knowing it was the right thing to do. I feel really lucky to have been in the right place at the right time and to have the support of my work colleagues to let me leave to develop this clinic.
Despite suffering failures in her first year of operation, her motivation didn’t end. An incident when she rescued a porter who was moments from death from High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) marked a turning point in her life on Everest. In the first 9 seasons, the clinic logged over 2,500 patient visits.
Everest has seen considerable amount of death over 60 years. Many such deaths happened due to the lack of immediate medical assistance. Dr. Freer through her venture made it possible to save as many lives as she can.
Also, her thoughts on the local inhabitants of Khumbu.
It’s all about the Sherpa people. My ten years of experience in Nepal have connected me with the most inspiring people I’ve ever met.
Everet ER team doing Harlem Shake at 17,000ft
- Interview of Dr. Luanne Freer @outsidemagazine, @youtube
- Everest ER Website
- Safe Trekking to Everest Base Camp