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December 17, 1960

Heat Pyrexia

JAMA. 1960;174(16):2087. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03030160072024

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To the Editor:—  I was much interested in the article in The Journal, July 16, page 1175, entitled "Development of Heat Pyrexia," by Captain Joseph Gold (MC), U. S. Air Force. Failure of the sweating mechanism is, of course, the immediate reason for the hyperpyrexia. Captain Gold's controlled experiments indicate the circumstances which lead to this failure.His controlled laboratory experiments, however, are somewhat different in course and outcome from those seen clinically. During World War II, at Parris Island, S. C., as chief of medicine at the U. S. Naval Hospital, I saw a large number of cases of heat stroke. These patients were completely unconscious when brought to the hospital; their skin was dry and their temperature extremely high. One patient had a temperature of 111°F. (44°C.) in the axilla. He was treated by cold applications over the body, with forced air circulation to aid evaporation. However, he

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