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September 1957

Acclimatization to a Simulated Altitude of 18,000 Feet in a Patient with Metastatic Cancer

Author Affiliations

New York

The Departments of Medicine, Biochemistry, and Anesthesiology of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Medical Service of the Presbyterian Hospital.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1957;100(3):459-466. doi:10.1001/archinte.1957.00260090115015

This investigation was supported in part by the Mary W. Harriman Fund and a grant from the National Tuberculosis Association made possible by a special bequest from the estate of Grace Velia Harris. The Taylor bed was allocated to this study by the Presbyterian Hospital through Dr. Cushman Haagenson.

The purpose of this report is to present the effects of acclimatization to hypoxia in a woman seriously ill with advanced metastatic cancer. The patient was exposed to a gradual decrease of the oxygen tension of the atmosphere until a concentration of 10% was reached. Her clinical and physiological responses to this degree of hypoxia, equivalent to an altitude of 18,000 feet, are described in this paper.

Methods  The patient was enclosed in an enlarged canopy of a standard clinical oxygen tent.* The edges of the canopy were lengthened to meet underneath the patient's mattress and above a rubber sheet, in