Exertional heat stroke (EHS) is one of the most common causes of sudden death in athletes. It also represents a unique medical challenge to the prehospital healthcare provider due to the time sensitive nature of treatment. In cases of EHS, when cooling is delayed, there is a significant increase in organ damage, morbidity, and mortality after 30 minutes, faster than the average EMS transport and ED evaluation window. The purpose of this document is to present a paradigm for prehospital healthcare systems to minimize the risk of morbidity and mortality for EHS patients. With proper planning, EHS can be managed successfully by the prehospital healthcare provider.
Keywords: exercise; heat stress disorders; heat stroke; hyperthermia; sports.