Saturday, June 12, 2010

Why did four Kokoda walkers die?

Fascinating program from 60 Minutes.

Hypernatremia - electrolyte disturbance from drinking too much water.

The story is very interesting. You'll recall the young girl who died from taking extasy and drinking too much water? This is the same thing.

We are told to drink more water, at least two litres per day (or we were), we are told that "salt is bad!", but that's what's causing this problem.

The story is very interesting, and the doctors on the track doing the blood tests save a few lives!

The transcript should be here soon.


Anonymous said...

When working in Pt Hedland for Mt Newman mining co. in the early seventies, we were given and reminded daily to take salt tablets.
Stands to reason, drank up to 5 litres of water a day.

I would have thought someone on the track had known about this problem?


kae said...

Hi LouMac
I wondered about that, too. Any time where I was where it was hot and sweaty I was encouraged to drink a lot of water and we took a salt tablet every day.
So simple!
As I said, people are told to drink heaps of water because it's healthy, but that's only half the story - salt is essential if you are sweating it out.

Minicapt said...

Salt tablets don't interact effectively with the stomach. You're better to use the granulated stuff straight from the shaker in half teaspoon lots.


Anonymous said...

Hypernatremia is too much salt, Hyponatremia is not enough salt...