Heat illness may be viewed as a continuum of illnesses relating to the body's inability to cope with heat. It includes minor illnesses, such as heat edema, heat rash (ie, prickly heat), heat cramps, and heat tetany, as well as heat syncope and heat exhaustion. Heat stroke is the most severe heat-related illness and is defined as a body temperature higher than 106°F associated with neurologic dysfunction.
Two forms of heat stroke are observed. Exertional heat stroke (EHS) generally occurs in young individuals who engage in strenuous physical activity for a prolonged period in a hot environment. Classic nonexertional heat stroke (NEHS) more commonly affects sedentary elderly individuals, persons who are chronically ill, and very young persons. Classic NEHS occurs during environmental heat waves and is more common in areas that do not typically experience periods of prolonged hot weather. Both types of heat stroke are associated with high morbidity and mortality, especially when cooling therapy is delayed.
With the influence of global warming, it is predicted that the incidence of heat stroke cases and fatalities will also become more prevalent. Behavioral responses are important in the management of temperature elevations and may provide clues to preventing heat stroke.
Test your knowledge with this short quiz.
Medscape © 2017 WebMD, LLC
Any views expressed above are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of WebMD or Medscape.
Cite this: Fast Five Quiz: Are You Familiar With Key Elements Regarding Heat Stroke? - Medscape - Aug 02, 2017.