Page 57 - Athletic Health Handbook
P. 57
TEAM PHYSICIAN’S CORNER

ON-THE-FIELD MANAGEMENT
OF HEAT STROKE

GREGORY G. DAMMANN, MD HEAT STROKE IS DEFINED as a life-threatening illness

BARRY P. BODEN, MD characterized by elevated core body temperature above 104°F (40°C) and
The Uniformed Services University of the central nervous system dysfunction. Heat stroke carries a high mortality
Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland and rate if diagnosis and treatment are delayed. The recent deaths of athletes
The Orthopaedic Center, Rockville, Maryland from heat-related illness have generated great interest from the media.
Despite ever-expanding medical technology, the incidence of heat-related
illness and death is on the rise. According to the National Center for
Catastrophic Sports Injury Research, there have been 37 heat-related
deaths in football from 1980–2001, with over half occurring since 1995.
It is critical that sports medicine physicians be prepared to promptly treat
athletes with heat illness. Proper management of heat stroke requires a
thorough understanding of the pathophysiology, risk factors, treatment,
and prevention of this condition.

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