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Article
February 28, 1920

COMPENSATORY RESPONSES TO THE OXYGEN WANT AT HIGH ALTITUDES

JAMA. 1920;74(9):605-606. doi:10.1001/jama.1920.02620090035013
Abstract

Life at high altitudes is liable to be attended with symptoms of illness, whether the sojourn in the regions of lowered barometric pressure be on a mountain, in a balloon, or in an aeroplane. The essential cause of altitude sickness has been demonstrated repeatedly to be a lack of oxygen. Whatever the method by which the oxygen supply of the body is reduced, there will occur adaptive reactions having the evident function of furnishing in some way the indispensable element that is needed by the active tissues. All of the latter become sensitive to the oxygen want, but the responses are undoubtedly initiated in the central nervous system. They are definitely stimulated at first. In the effort to compensate for the reduction of the oxygen supply the blood, the respiration and the circulation may become involved. Thus, as has been indicated repeatedly by The Journal, there may be an increase

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