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Amélioration de l’oxygénation en haute altitude

Oxygenation at high altitudes

Improvement of oxygenation at high altitudes

The Air Liquide Foundation is supporting the research project on oxygenation at high altitudes carried out by EXALT (Centre d’EXpertise en Altitude). This study concerns the impact of spending time at 5,500 m on the brain and heart, and how it alters sleep patterns. A treatment with a ventilation mask that exerts positive expiratory pressure is being tested to improve acclimatization to high altitudes.

The lack of oxygen at high altitudes

EXALT has highlighted disturbances to the brain and heart at high altitude caused by hypoxia, i.e. the reduction in the quantity of oxygen provided to the body. It has also shown in laboratory tests that ventilation with Positive Expiratory Pressure increases oxygenation of the blood and muscles. In 2015, the association monitored 50 participants during an expedition in Nepal at 5,500 m, in order to: 

  • test this ventilation technique in real conditions, 
  • determine if the sleep apnea observed is the result of a good or bad adaptation to the altitude.
 Amélioration de l’oxygénation en haute altitude
High camp of 18,000 ft © EXALT - Samuel Vergès

Development of a Positive Expiratory Pressure mask

The Air Liquide Foundation is contributing to the acquisition of the equipment needed to analyze the data collected by EXALT during the expedition to Nepal, as well as the creation of a prototype Positive Expiratory Pressure mask. The Foundation's grant amounts to €40,000.

© T Rupp
Pressurized expiration mask enabling high-altitude adaptation © EXALT - Thomas Rupp

The contribution of the Air Liquide Foundation

The Air Liquide Foundation is contributing to the acquisition of the equipment needed to analyze the data collected by EXALT during the expedition to Nepal, as well as the creation of a prototype Positive Expiratory Pressure mask. The Foundation's grant amounts to €40,000.

PROJECT IDENTITY

  • Project initiator: EXALT
  • Location: Grenoble, Rhône-Alpes, France
  • Year of support: 2015
  • R&D Manager: Marc LEMAIRE - Air Liquide Healthcare International, Paris-Saclay Research Center