Doctor on Everest
- By: Suzie Thompson
When New York surgeon Kenneth Kamler got the call to go to Everest in 1996 he packed a huge box of medical supplies, with something for every eventuality, but not even he, who had attempted to climb Everest four times, could have imagined what the mountain had in store that year.
The months of acclimatisation brought all the usual cases to the medical tent: mountain sickness, broken bones, and frostbite, not to mention pulmonary oedema. Worst of all, one day in May 1996 eight climbers died in a storm high up on the mountain, and countless survivors came down, in desperate need of attention.
Many books and accounts have been published about the disastrous climbing attempt, but most memorable among them was Jon Krakauers award winning Into Thin Air. More recently, in Left for Dead, Beck Weathers, a Texan pathologist, gives an intriguing account of twice being pronounced dead and