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Heat Stroke 

Heat Stroke
Heat Stroke
Acute Care Casebook

Alexander Berk


This case illustrates heat stroke presenting as altered mental status in a young healthy person. The differential diagnosis of altered mental status with hyperthermia is broad so a high clinical suspicion is needed to make the diagnosis of heat stroke. Infectious causes should always be ruled out. Once the diagnosis is made, treatment is aimed at actively cooling the patient, lowering temperature to a targeted goal of 102.2°F. Close attention should also be given to airway protection, correction of metabolic abnormalities, evaluation for rhabdomyolysis, and monitoring for cardiac dysrhythmias. All heat stroke patients should be admitted to the hospital for monitoring even after cooling goals are achieved.

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