After completing this article, readers should be able to:

Heat illness is caused by an inability to maintain normal body temperature because of excess heat production or decreased heat transfer to the environment. Heat stroke arises when cellular injury is caused by excess body temperature. If the core temperature rises above 105.8°F (41°C) for more than a short time, thermal injury results. Proteins are denatured, and injured cells undergo apoptosis (programmed cell death) or necrosis. Even before injury takes place, an individual may suffer transient mental and physical impairment, which is called heat exhaustion. Heat stroke is a medical emergency that is associated with a mortality of approximately 12% in adult patients. Treatment requires aggressive supportive care to minimize mortality.

It is important to recognize the difference between fever and heat stroke. Fever is a normal response, during which the core temperature remains under the control of the central thermoregulatory...

You do not currently have access to this content.