Blood coagulation and fibrinolysis were assessed in 55 cases of heat stroke who presented with or without bleeding tendencies during the Makkah pilgrimage of 1983. 17 patients were identified to have evidence of disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). Bleeders with DIC had a higher incidence of shock and a higher mortality when compared to non-bleeders. Thrombocytopenia and liver cell damage were not limited to cases with DIC. Coagulation factors and serum enzyme studies suggested non-specific tissue damage as the trigger mechanism for DIC possibly proceeding through the extrinsic system of blood clotting. We conclude that the breakdown of haemostasis in heat stroke is multifactorial: thrombocytopenia, liver cell damage and DIC.