Tim, thanks for sharing this experience and the recommendation with the UA community. I’m glad you were able to avoid such a bad mistake and that the heart issues turned out to be beningn. Would you mind posting this also in the Mountaineering forum, as that’s where many people with the Himalaya in their sights hang out.
Thought the community might benefit from this story…
Was doing an easy climb, yala peak, in Langtang Valley, Nepal. Awoke after acclimatization day at 3900m feeling a bit off, found resting heart rate had dropped about 10bpm and possibly irregular. No headache. Out of caution headed back for Kathmandu to get looked into instead of ascending. Went to travel hospital recommended by insurance company.
Ended up getting holter, showed second degree AV block and senior cardiologist recommended pacemaker plus angiography. Being a physician myself was skeptical, spoke with cardiologist back home and showed them holter, they basically said run away from that place.
Had tests repeated at home, everything looks fine. Was likely an altitude induced increase in parasympathetic tone is the conclusion and felt to be benign.
Whole experience quite disheartening.
I would have thought docs there familiar with altitude issues and how to manage (reasonably) fit trekkers/climbers. Pacemaker would have been a massive mistake, if heading here maybe have a medical contact back home lined up that you can run things by.
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