Last reviewed: June 2020
Last updated: June  2020

Summary

Definition

History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • profound central nervous system disturbance
  • hyperthermia

Other diagnostic factors

  • headache
  • nausea and vomiting
  • anxiety
  • dizziness
  • tachycardia
  • jaundice
  • muscle tenderness
  • hypotension
  • gastrointestinal bleeding
  • bruising and skin bleeding

Risk factors

  • older age
  • impaired cognition
  • patients unable to care for themselves
  • medicines
  • people unacclimatised to hot environments
  • young, active people exercising intensely under hot, humid conditions

Diagnostic investigations

1st investigations to order

  • core temperature measurement
  • serum electrolytes
  • FBC
  • LFTs
  • metabolic profile
  • renal function tests
  • creatine kinase
  • prothrombin time, activated PPT, and INR
  • lactic acid
  • urinalysis
  • chest x-ray
  • arterial blood gas
  • medicine/toxicology screen
  • thyroid function tests
  • plasma glucose
More 1st investigations to order

Investigations to consider

  • cranial CT scan
  • lumbar puncture
  • blood culture
More investigations to consider

Treatment algorithm

Contributors

Assistant Professor

Tufts University School of Medicine

Boston

MA

Disclosures

JLG declares that he has no competing interests.

Peer reviewersVIEW ALL

Clinical Lecturer

University of Michigan Congenital Heart Center

Ann Arbor

MI

Disclosures

MB declares that he has no competing interests.

Honorary Professor

Department of Physiology

UCL

London

Disclosures

JM declares that he has no competing interests.

Director

Department of Emergency Medicine

Mount Sinai School of Medicine

New York

NY

Disclosures

PH declares that he has no competing interests.

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