Medical Definition of Heat stroke

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    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: A core body temperature that rises above 104 F (40 C) accompanied by hot, dry skin and central nervous system abnormalities such as delirium, convulsions, or coma. Heat stroke that results from exposure to a high environmental temperature is called nonexertional heat stroke. Heat stroke that results from strenuous exercise is called exertional heat stroke. Irrespective of type, heat stroke can be life-threatening. Immediate medical attention is essential when problems first begin. Symptoms may include confusion, combativeness, bizarre behavior, faintness, staggering, strong rapid pulse, dry flushed skin, lack of sweating, possible delirium or coma.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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