Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Heat stroke is a form of hyperthermia or heat-related illness,
elevated body temperature
with accompanying physical symptoms including changes in the nervous system
Unlike heat cramps and heat exhaustion, two
other forms of hyperthermia
that are less severe,
heat stroke is a true
medical emergency that is often fatal if not properly and promptly treated.
Heat stroke is also sometimes referred to as heatstroke or sun stroke. Severe
hyperthermia is defined as a body temperature of 104 F (40 C) or higher.
The body normally generates heat as a result of
metabolism, and is usually able to dissipate the heat by radiation of heat through
the skin or by evaporation of sweat. However, in extreme heat, high humidity, or vigorous
physical exertion under the sun, the body may not be able to sufficiently dissipate the heat and the
body temperature rises, sometimes up to 106 F (41.1 C) or higher.
Another cause of heat stroke is
dehydration. A dehydrated person may not be able
to sweat fast enough to dissipate heat, which causes the body temperature to
Heat stroke is not the same as a stroke. "Stroke"
is the general term used to describe decreased oxygen flow to an area of the
Those most susceptible (at risk) individuals to heat stroke include:
The elderly (often with associated heart diseases, lung diseases, kidney
diseases, or who are taking medications that make them vulnerable to
dehydration and heat strokes)
Individuals who work outside and physically exert themselves under the
Heat stroke is sometimes classified as exertional heat stroke (EHS, which is
due to overexertion in hot weather) or non-exertional heat stroke (NEHS, which
occurs in climactic extremes and affects the elderly, infants, and chronically
The following checklist can help you recognize the symptoms of heat-related
Heat Rash: Heat rash is a
skin irritation caused by excessive sweating during hot, humid weather. It can
occur at any age. Heat rash looks like a
red cluster of pimples or small
Heat cramps: A person who has been exercising or participating in
other types of strenuous activity in the heat may develop painful muscle
spasms in the arms, legs, or abdomen referred to as
heat rash. The body
temperature is usually normal, and the skin will feel moist and cool, but
Dizziness is a symptom that is often applies to a
variety of sensations including lightheadedness and vertigo. Vertigo is the
sensation of spinning, while lightheadedness is typically considered near