heatstroke

/heet"strohk'/, n.
a disturbance of the temperature-regulating mechanisms of the body caused by overexposure to excessive heat, resulting in fever, hot and dry skin, and rapid pulse, sometimes progressing to delirium and coma.
[1870-75; HEAT + STROKE1]

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Debility caused by exposure to heat and humidity, usually for many hours, called sunstroke when caused by direct sunlight.

Body temperature is 106–110°F (41–43°C) or higher. Perspiration almost stops, leading to the rapid temperature rise, collapse, and coma. Cooling with ice-water baths or packs, with massage to promote circulation, is urgent to save the victim's life. Even after body temperature drops, circulatory disorder and brain damage may cause death. See also heat exhaustion.

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▪ medical disorder
      condition caused by continuous exposure to high temperature and humidity for several hours. The term sunstroke refers to the same disorder when exposure to direct sunlight is the main cause of the condition. The primary feature of heatstroke is an extreme and uncontrolled elevation of body temperature (106 to 110 °F [41 to 43 °C], or even higher), which can harm the central nervous system (nervous system, human).

      Heat is usually eliminated from the body by radiation and convection from the skin and lungs (lung) and by evaporation of sweat. As surroundings become hotter, all methods of heat elimination become ineffective except the evaporation of sweat. If the body's ability to sweat also becomes impaired, heatstroke results.

      In the early stages of heatstroke the victim may experience dizziness, headache, nausea, weakness, restlessness, or mental confusion and has a rapid pulse and hot, dry, flushed skin. Collapse, coma, a weak pulse, and a more dusky skin will follow if prompt treatment by cooling is not instituted. Ice-water baths or packs, with massage to promote circulation, are effective. Cooling should be stopped when the victim's temperature reaches 102 °F (39 °C) but should be reinstituted if their temperature rises again. Professional medical care should be sought to manage the effects of possible circulatory disorders and brain damage.

      Persons exposed to extreme environmental heat often experience other difficulties. Without sufficient water, they may suffer from dehydration and may collapse from inadequate circulation. This collapse, whether caused by dehydration or other phenomena, is called heat exhaustion, or heat prostration. It can be distinguished from heatstroke by the moderate or absent elevation of body temperature, by the persistence of heavy sweating, and by possible heat cramps. Heat exhaustion is treated by lying down in a cool place and drinking water to which salt has been added, although any fluid is helpful.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • heatstroke — n. A physiological disturbance caused by exposure to excessive heat, resulting in rapid pulse, hot dry skin, and fever, leading to loss of consciousness. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • heatstroke — ► NOUN ▪ a feverish condition caused by failure of the body s temperature regulating mechanism when exposed to excessively high temperatures …   English terms dictionary

  • heatstroke — [hēt′strōk΄] n. a serious failure of the body s heat regulation mechanisms resulting from excessive exposure to intense heat and characterized by high fever, dry skin, collapse, and sometimes convulsions or coma: cf. HEAT EXHAUSTION, SUNSTROKE …   English World dictionary

  • heatstroke — noun Date: 1874 a condition marked especially by cessation of sweating, extremely high body temperature, and collapse that results from prolonged exposure to high temperature compare heat exhaustion …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • heatstroke — noun hyperthermia See Also: sunstroke …   Wiktionary

  • heatstroke — A severe and often fatal illness produced by exposure to excessively high temperatures, especially when accompanied by marked exertion; characterized by headache, vertigo, confusion, hot dry skin, and a slight rise in body temperature; in severe… …   Medical dictionary

  • heatstroke — heat|stroke [ˈhi:tstrəuk US strouk] n [U] fever and weakness caused by being outside in the heat of the sun for too long →↑sunstroke …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • heatstroke — heat|stroke [ hit,strouk ] noun uncount a serious medical condition caused by doing too much physical activity in hot weather …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • heatstroke — see heat stroke …   English dictionary

  • heatstroke — n. condition caused by excessive exposure to heat and characterized by fever and headaches …   English contemporary dictionary

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