Episode 12: High Altitude Illness with Elaine Reno

Education, Emergency Medicine, Medical Education, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Podcast, Uncategorized, Wilderness Medicine

On this episode, host Jason Woods speaks with Dr. Elaine Reno, an emergency medicine physician who is also a wilderness medicine expert, about high altitude illness in pediatrics. We focus on risk factors, identification of illness, and recommendations for initial treatment.

Important points

  1. Significant altitude illness is rare below 8000 feet
  2. Pre-verbal children DO experience high altitude illness but can be more difficult to diagnose given the difficulty in communication.
  3. Dr. Reno strongly prefers slow acclimatization for children, rather than prophylactic medication.

Point of Care Resources

  1. Wilderness Medical Society
  2. Colorado Wilderness Medicine
  3. Lake Louise Acute Mountain Sickness Score
  4. Children’s Lake Louise Score


Elaine Reno MD – Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, Section of Wilderness and Environmental Medicine