Wilderness Medical Society practice guidelines for the prevention and treatment of heat-related illness: 2014 update

Wilderness Environ Med. 2014 Dec;25(4 Suppl):S55-65. doi: 10.1016/j.wem.2014.07.017.


The Wilderness Medical Society (WMS) convened an expert panel to develop a set of evidence-based guidelines for the recognition, prevention, and treatment of heat illness. We present a review of the classifications, pathophysiology, and evidence-based guidelines for planning and preventive measures as well as best practice recommendations for both field and hospital-based therapeutic management of heat illness. These recommendations are graded on the basis of the quality of supporting evidence, and balance between the benefits and risks or burdens for each modality. This is an updated version of the original WMS Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Heat-Related Illness published in Wilderness & Environmental Medicine 2013;24(4):351-361.

Keywords: heat illness; heat stroke; prevention; recognition; treatment.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Heat Stress Disorders / classification
  • Heat Stress Disorders / physiopathology
  • Heat Stress Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Heat Stress Disorders / therapy
  • Humans
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Societies, Medical
  • Wilderness Medicine / methods*
  • Wilderness Medicine / standards