Present day concepts of the effect of extreme heat on the human body have been associated with the terms heat stroke, heat exhaustion and heat cramps. We have had the opportunity to study a syndrome involving failure of the normal sweat mechanism in a group of soldiers affected variously by extreme heat. We believe this syndrome must be differentiated from heat stroke and heat exhaustion. As represented in textbooks the latter are generally described as follows: Heat stroke is characterized by collapse, delirium, irritability and visual disturbances. Nausea and vomiting may forewarn one of the impending attack. Often it occurs with dramatic suddenness. Significant physical findings in addition to the altered mental state include hot dry skin, elevation of body temperature (106-110 F.) rectally, rapidity of the pulse, with a rate of 160 to 180 per minute, and increased depth of respiration, which may simulate Kussmaul breathing.
Heat exhaustion is
WOLKIN J, GOODMAN JI, KELLEY WE. FAILURE OF THE SWEAT MECHANISM IN THE DESERTTHERMOGENIC ANHIDROSIS. JAMA. 1944;124(8):478–482. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850080006002
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