[Heat stroke in hospital patients during the summer 2003 heat wave: a nosocomial disease]

Presse Med. 2006 Feb;35(2 Pt 1):196-9. doi: 10.1016/s0755-4982(06)74553-5.
[Article in French]


Objective: We investigated patients who died in our institution during the August 2003 heat wave, to determine whether some in hospital patients actually died of heat stroke.

Methods: Records of all patients who died in our tertiary care hospital between 6-15 August 2003 were analyzed retrospectively. Heat stroke was considered the cause of death when the following criteria were met: body temperature higher than 40.5 degrees C, except if there was documented evidence of cooling before the first temperature measurement, central nervous system abnormalities, and a reliable history of exposure to high temperatures in a hospital ward. The number of patients who died in the hospital during the heat wave was compared with data from the previous year.

Results: Seventeen patients died from hospital-acquired heat stroke (19% of all hospital deaths). This condition accounted for a 25% increase in hospital mortality over the same period during 2002.

Comment: Hospital-acquired heat stroke appears to be a nosocomial disease that was responsible for an overall increase in hospital mortality during the 2003 heat wave.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Heat Stroke / epidemiology
  • Heat Stroke / mortality*
  • Hospital Mortality*
  • Hospitals, University*
  • Humans
  • Inpatients*
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies