What will happen to his arterial PCO2 and pH? - ProProfs Discuss
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What will happen to his arterial PCO2 and pH?

A mountaineer attempts an assault on a high mountain in the Andes and reaches an altitude of 5000 meters (16,400 ft) above sea level.

Asked by Santepro, Last updated: Nov 29, 2020

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santepro

santepro

santepro
Santepro

Answered Jun 05, 2018

The pH will rise and PCO2 will fall.

The mountaineer will suffer from a respiratory alkalosis. The decline in the PO2 with altitude will stimulate breathing to offset the hypoxia. Carbon dioxide is driven from the blood faster than it is produced in the tissues so PCO2 falls and pH rises.
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