Altitude Impacts Heart Conditions

Last week, a British skier was on holiday in the French Alps.  He collapsed on the ski lift after suffering a heart attack and fell from the moving lift from a height of 32- feet.

The occurrence is not totally unusual.  At about 1:04 p.m. on Jan. 7th , the Summit County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a male skier found unconscious on a ski run at the resort. The skier, a 71-yr-old from Illinois, was transported to Breckenridge Medical Center at the base of Peak 9, where he was later pronounced dead.

And during Christmas week, two deaths took place within days of each other at Keystone Resort. An Arvada resident, 53, and a Silverthorne resident, aged 66, died at Keystone while skiing during the Christmas holiday weekend. In both cases, the Summit County Coroner determined that cardiac issues were the proximate cause of death.

There were 23 cardiac-related deaths in Summit in 2016, with 19 coming up here from lower elevations and suffering cardiac issues soon after coming to altitude.