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Ah, the British press

Posted by Christopher Shea  January 9, 2009 10:46 AM

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I hope the Belfast Telegraph is not offended by that adjective ("British").

The New England Journal of Medicine made news this week with an article documenting just how low oxygen levels are in the blood of climbers on the summit of Everest. The headline of the press release was "Mountaineers measure lowest human blood oxygen levels on record." Boston.com has a Reuters article that provides more details: Doctors may learn how to save critically ill patients by studying how climbers deal with such nourishment-poor blood (acclimation is part of the story: the adventurers spend weeks at high altitudes to get ready for the final climb). Low oxygen levels are often seen in the sickest patients down here near sea level.

So how does the Telegraph bill this medico-scientific story? "World's lowest blood pressure man drops trousers on Everest."

The blood had to be drawn from the femoral artery, near the groin, so, yes, there was some uncomfortable unzipping in -15 degree weather, with 25 m.p.h. winds. But, technically speaking, nobody dropped trou.

Unlike this poor skier at Vail, who gained unwanted Internet fame this week. Mildly NSFW.

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