Delivering medical imaging equipment to the top of the world is not for the faint of heart. Capital Enterprises, a Carestream distributor, transported and installed a Carestream Vita Flex CR system that provides imaging services to 8,000 local residents, as well as mountaineers, sherpas, and others who support those who dare to climb Mount Everest.

The Kunde hospital is located 24.6 kilometers (15.3 miles) from Mount Everest Base Camp. The imaging system was transported by plane to Lukla, Nepal, which is ranked as the world’s deadliest airport due to its high elevation and unforgiving terrain. From there, porters carried the x-ray equipment on their backs for 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) to the hospital, which is staffed and operated by local physicians and nurses.

For centuries, Mount Everest has captured the human imagination. Mount Everest is 29,035 feet or 8,848 meters high and is estimated to be more than 60 million years old.

The Carestream Vita Flex CR system is used by medical staff to capture digital x-ray images of shoulders and extremities that have been broken or sprained; the head and neck area to diagnose sprains or concussions; as well as chest exams that may indicate a patient has pneumonia, altitude sickness, or evidence of a heart attack or other serious medical conditions.

Nepal Hospital“These imaging studies are essential to diagnosing diseases and injuries to climbers, sherpas and other workers at base camp,” says Charlie Hicks, Carestream’s general manager of global x-ray solutions. “The images are available in minutes, and physicians decide if a patient can be treated at the hospital or must be transported to Kathmandu by helicopter or airplane.”

Kathmandu is 136 kilometers (85 miles) from Kunde hospital. The Kunde hospital is located at 3,840 meters (12,600 feet) above sea level and was founded by Sir Edmund Hillary in 1966.