Internal Medicine

Heat illness



High body temperature due to increased heat production or reduced heat loss, with the hypothalamic set point being normal.


Clinical types

  • Heat stroke: Body temperature of > 40°C (104 °F) due to environmental heat exposure with lack of thermoregulation.
    • Symptoms: Dry skin, rapid, strong pulse and dizziness
  • Heat exhaustion: Precursor of heatstroke
    • Symptoms: Heavy sweating, rapid breathing and a fast, weak pulse
  • Heat syncope: Fainting or dizziness as a result of overheating.
  • Heat oedema
  • Heat cramps: Muscle pains that happen during heavy exercise in hot weather
  • Heat rash: Skin irritation from excessive sweating
  • Heat tetany: Usually results from short periods of stress in intense heat
    • Symptoms: Hyperventilation, respiratory problems, numbness or tingling, or muscle spasms

Case study:


  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs)
    • Act by reducing prostaglandin production, are ineffective

External cooling:

  • Ice water sponging
  • Cooling blankets
  • Cold water enemas
  • Gastric washes

Correct the underlying condition

Leave a Reply