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
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
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.