Exertional heat stroke: new concepts regarding cause and care

Curr Sports Med Rep. 2012 May-Jun;11(3):115-23. doi: 10.1249/JSR.0b013e31825615cc.


When athletes, warfighters, and laborers perform intense exercise in the heat, the risk of exertional heat stroke (EHS) is ever present. The recent data regarding the fatalities due to EHS within the confines of organized American sport are not promising: during the past 35 years, the highest number of deaths in a 5-year period occurred from 2005 to 2009. This reminds us that, regardless of the advancements of knowledge in the area of EHS prevention, recognition, and treatment, knowledge has not been translated into practice. This article addresses important issues related to EHS cause and care. We focus on the predisposing factors, errors in care, physiology of cold water immersion, and return-to-play or duty considerations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Heat Stroke / etiology*
  • Heat Stroke / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Military Medicine
  • Physical Exertion / physiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sports / physiology*
  • Sports Medicine