Heat illness

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Thermoregulation keeps the normal body temperature of humans at approximately 37 °C. However, as a result of heat load - both endogenous and exogenous heat - it can occur that the body is unable to dissipate excess heat, leading to an increase in the core body temperature. This can result in various heat illnesses, ranging from mild, non-life-threatening conditions, such as heat rash, heat edema, heat cramps, heat syncope and exercise associated collapse to life-threatening conditions, namely exertional heatstroke and classic heatstroke. Exertional heatstroke is the result of strenuous exercise in a (relatively) hot environment, whereas classic heatstroke is caused by environmental heat. Both forms result in a core temperature of > 40 °C in combination with a lowered or altered consciousness. Early recognition and treatment are critical in reducing morbidity and mortality. Cornerstone of treatment is cooling.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberD7442
JournalNederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2023

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