For this team of doctors, patients include everyone from the elite of the world’s climbing communities, frostbitten and dying from pulmonary oedema, to holiday trekkers with altitude sickness, and local children suffering from all the illnesses you might expect to find in one of the world’s poorest countries.
These volunteers must make life and death decisions on a daily basis, a world away from the facilities of a modern hospital. Evacuation from this altitude is either a two-day walk on the back of a porter or an expensive and dangerous helicopter ride.
Further up the valley, on the Khumbu Glacier itself, sits the Everest Base Camp Clinic. Everest’s magnetism is now such that in the peak climbing season, Base Camp can be home to thousands of people. And at this altitude, getting sick is a very serious business.
This gripping series follows the lives of these doctors over the course of one Everest season. When the clinic opens early spring, there are queues of local people waiting to be treated. And as the season progresses, the big expeditions roll in – the world’s best climbers, the rich businessmen paying to be guided to the top and the hordes of trekkers slogging up the valley to worship at the feet of the world’s most spectacular mountain.
In episode one of Everest ER, summit season is about to start at Everest Base Camp. The doctors working at the highest hospital in the world gear up to deal with a constant stream of life-threatening emergencies. With hundreds of climbers about to enter the death zone, it’s only a matter of time before Everest claims its next casualties.
Thursday, 8 January, 8:00pm