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La Paz, Bolivia (3510 m)
Medical Facilities

Although the high altitude of the bowl-shaped city of La Paz (3100 to 4100 m), was feared by many visitors, it has become a popular tourist site. More and more travelers fond of mountains, trekking and hiking (even in their 90s) are able to enjoy the culture, history, view and gastronomy of this modern city with over 1,000,000 inhabitants. Modern medical knowledge and medical facilities have made the visit a safe event, being the IPPA clinic, fundamental.

In order to diagnose, treat and perform research in disease of residents at high altitude and travelers visiting La Paz, the  IPPA Clinic was founded in 1970. As of  March 1999, over 5400 patients have benefited from its unique facilities, joined with the expertise of its physicians. As affirmed in the book entitled High Altitude Pathology At 12000 ft, "we consider high altitude a test of cardio-pulmonary fitness". Very often, people that had a normal medical check-up at sea level, were diagnosed from some type of cardiac and/or pulmonary disorder when checked at high altitude. The hypoxic (low oxygen pressure) environment of high altitude becomes a "special" laboratory, that enables the experts to evaluate the adequate function of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. This is considered analogous to a treadmill ergometry, with the greater advantage of a natural hypoxic environment test.

IPPA is a small Clinic, with all the medical resources and up to date technology, where patients still enjoy a warm and pleasant relationship with doctors and para-medical personnel, that currently is unavailable in large hospitals. In these, patients (and doctors) are merely numbers, and where due to overload, appointments are postponed for months or even years.

Computerized medical resources include: X-rays, electrocardiography, stress ergometry testing (exercise tests), laboratory for specialized tests in blood urine and other fluids, blood gases, pulmonary function tests (including spirometry, flow-volume, single breath nitrogen washout, hyperoxic shunt tests, breath-holding pulse oxymetry), hyperoxic/hypoxic adaptation chamber, bronchial endoscopy, blood pressure position analyzer, lung biopsies and so on.  Access to CAT, NMR and ecography are available in a near-by institution, according to requirements. Whenever necessary patients can be hospitalized in near-by clinics. All the equipments are hooked on-line for immediate storage of data. This has allowed us to perform complete medical check-ups in around 30 minutes since 1985, giving you plenty of free time to enjoy your visit to La Paz.

IPPA's physicians gather for a case discussion and determine if any further tests are necessary or to go ahead with treatment. Prescriptions are given, being extra careful about side effects and compatibility with other medication. Adecuate measures regarding food and case specific recommendations are also provided. A medical report with conclusions, is available upon request.

Our physicians, maintain constant communication with many experts around the world. We receive consultations from around the world via E-mail and participate in case discussions over the Web.

If you feel that you are not being diagnosed properly, you should come have a check-up with the physicians of IPPA at high altitude and be one more of thousands of satisfied patients from all over the world.

Copyright  Apr/20/1999 IPPA - La Paz, Bolivia

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