The frequent occurrence of clinical signs of tetany and of the major manifestations of epilepsy in patients subjected to hyperpyrexial baths has aroused interest in the chemical changes resulting from this procedure. Profound physiologic and chemical responses within the body occur, being closely interdependent in origin and in effect. The present investigation deals entirely with the chemical and water-shifting effects of hyperpyrexial baths, giving attention particularly to those changes having some bearing on the functional activity of the nervous system.
On exposure to hot baths, the human organism responds with hyperventilation of the lungs in an attempt to cool the body.1 This has the effect of removing carbonic acid from the blood in the "blowing off" of abnormal amounts of carbon dioxide in the expired air, and creates the state designated as uncompensated deficit of carbon dioxide. This fact was demonstrated for hot baths as early as 1905 by
HOPKINS H. CHEMICAL CHANGES IN THE BLOOD INDUCED BY HYPERPYREXIAL BATHS. Arch NeurPsych. 1934;31(3):597-604. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1934.02250030137008