Heat Stroke

Usually by the late stages of heat exhaustion, the person is unable to exercise effectively, but if exercise or heat exposure continues, heat stroke can occur. In addition to the findings of heat exhaustion, a complex of symptoms develops in heat stroke that tends to worsen rather than improve the clinical situation. Initially sweating can be profuse but often stops. The kidneys shut down, and hyperventilation and pulmonary edema develop. The heart can develop irregular rhythms that compromise circulation. Liver damage develops. Muscles break down releasing products that can worsen kidney status and heart rhythm. Blood clots develop in the vascular system and shock can develop. Core body temperature is typically above 40.5°C (105°F) (2-4,10).

Heatstroke can occur in the absence of exercise. Classic heat stroke takes place when the ambient temperature is high and the person has a medical condition that impairs thermoregulation. These conditions include cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders, diabetes, and obesity. The very old and very young are especially susceptible to heat stroke. Psychiatric conditions that impact the intake of fluids and medications such as anticholinergic agents or diuretics can contribute to heat stroke (1,2,12).

0 0

Post a comment