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April 15, 1944

FAILURE OF THE SWEAT MECHANISM IN THE DESERT

Author Affiliations

Ellis Island 4, N. Y. Assistant Surgeon (R), U. S. Marine Hospital.

JAMA. 1944;124(16):1152. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850160058024

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Abstract

To the Editor:—  I should like to comment briefly on the report in The Journal February 19 concerning the subject of "Failure of the Sweat Mechanism in the Desert" and "Thermogenic Anhidrosis."In view of the great importance of this subject as regards both the armed forces and industry, reliable data concerning these functions is greatly needed. There is no doubt that prolonged exposure to heat, particularly when considerable physical activity is required, leads in the course of time, to serious salt depletion (NaCl) associated with symptoms, of serious muscular weakness, muscular and abdominal cramps, drowsiness, loss of appetite and such central disturbances as increased irritability, nausea, vomiting, vertigo, fever, visual disturbances and delirium, in some instances culminating in tetany and collapse.Anhidrosis has been found to be most frequently associated with chloride deprivation and dehydration. Since the work of Bunge and others has shown that the largest part of

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