Wilderness Medical Society Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Heat Illness: 2019 Update

Wilderness Environ Med. 2019 Dec;30(4S):S33-S46. doi: 10.1016/j.wem.2018.10.004. Epub 2019 Jun 17.


The Wilderness Medical Society convened an expert panel in 2011 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 based on the quality of supporting evidence and balance the benefits and risks or burdens for each modality. This is an updated version of the original Wilderness Medical Society Practice Guidelines for the Treatment and Prevention of Heat-Related Illness published in 2013.

Keywords: heat stroke; hyperthermia; 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*