Heat Stroke Definition
Heat stroke is an emergency condition where the body's core temperature is markedly elevated (depending on the definition, about 104 F [40 C] or above) after being exposed to high environmental temperatures combined with neurologic symptoms and loss of body thermal auto regulation (ability of the brain to control the body temperature). The elderly and young children are at higher risk for heat stroke. Some health care professionals further subdivide heat strokes into exertional and non-exertional, but both have similar symptoms and treatments.
Heat Stroke Causes
The major cause of heat stroke is prolonged exposure to high temperatures and/or doing strenuous activity in hot weather. Dehydration, drinking alcohol, side effects of certain medications, and wearing excess and tight clothing can contribute to causing heat stroke.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/26/2015
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