II. Epidemiology

  1. U.S. High school athletes
    1. Incidence: 1.6 cases per 100,000 athletes (9000 cases per year)
      1. Kerr (2013) Am J Prev Med 4491):8-14 [PubMed]
    2. Third leading cause of death in high school athletes
      1. Coris (2004) Sports Med 34(1): 9-16 [PubMed]
  2. U.S. Military
    1. Overall Incidence: 1.41 per 1000 person years (2163 cases in 2017)
    2. Heat StrokeIncidence: 0.38 per 1000 person years (464 cases in 2017)
    3. (2018) MSMR 25(4):6-10 [PubMed]
  3. U.S. Emergency Departments
    1. Heat Illness represented 5 per 10,000 summertime visits (in the years 2006 to 2010)
    2. Heat Exhaustion: 75% of cases
    3. Heat Stroke: 5.4% of cases
    4. Mortality: 0.07% of cases
    5. Hess (2014) Environ Health Prospect 122(11):1209-15 [PubMed]

III. Physiology

IV. Types: Heat Related Symptoms

  1. Heat Rash (Miliaria Rubra, Sweat Rash, Prickly Heat)
    1. Papules, Pustules or vessicles in in occluded areas of excessive sweating (esp. children)
  2. Heat Edema
    1. Benign swelling of feet, and ankles, and to a lesser extent hands
    2. Associated with salt or water retention from heat with cutaneous vasodilation
    3. Occurs in non-acclimitized patients (esp. elderly)
    4. Treated with leg elevation, Compression Stockings (avoid Diuretics)
    5. Resolves spontaneously over days with acclimitization or return to cooler environments
  3. Heat Syncope
    1. Dizziness or fainting immediately after completing Exercise and heat exposure
    2. Secondary to peripheral vasodilatation and venous pooling with secondary Postural Hypotension
    3. Seen in persons unaccustomed to extreme heat
    4. Move to cool, shaded environment, lie supine, and administer oral rehydration with salt containing solutions
    5. Consider Syncope differential diagnosis
      1. Syncope during Exercise is concerning (where as Syncope after Exercise is typically benign)
  4. Heat Cramps
    1. Painful Muscle Contractions or cramps (esp. larger Muscle groups)
    2. Most commonly affected Muscles include abdominal, quadriceps and gastrocnemius Muscle groups
  5. Heat Tetany
    1. See Tetany
    2. Results from Hyperventilation during strenuous activity
    3. Carpopedal Spasm with Paresthesias (including perioral)
    4. Differentiate from Heat Cramps which involves proximal large Muscle groups

V. Types: Exertional Heat Syndromes (spectrum of increasing severity)

  1. Heat Stress
    1. Core Temperature unchanged (<38 C or 100.4 F) and associated with decreased Exercise tolerance
  2. Heat Exhaustion
    1. Core Temperature rises above 38 C (100.4 F) associated with systemic symptoms
  3. Heat Stroke
    1. Core Temperature rises above 40 C (104 F) asssociated with Altered Level of Consciousness

VII. Management

  1. General Principles
    1. Rest (stop activity)
    2. Move to a cool, shaded area or indoor area
    3. Remove excessive clothing
    4. Initiate cooling (prompt cooling is imperative in Heat Stroke)
    5. Hydration
  2. Treat per degree of Heat Illness
    1. Heat Cramps
    2. Heat Exhaustion
    3. Heat Stroke

VIII. Associated Conditions

IX. Prevention

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