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Extreme Heat (Hyperthermia)

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  • Extreme Heat (Hyperthermia)

    Hyperthermia is the phenomenon of elevated body temperature due to failed thermoregulation that occurs when a body produces or absorbs more heat than it dissipates. The human body usually can regulate its temperature. When the body gets too hot, it uses several strategies to cool down, including sweating. But if a person spends too much time in the heat without taking in enough fluids, the body's cooling processes can't work properly. When the body becomes dehydrated, it can no longer cool itself by sweating. When this happens, body temperature can raise high enough to make the person sick. Extreme temperature elevation then becomes a medical emergency requiring immediate treatment to prevent disability or death. The most common causes include heat stroke and adverse reactions to drugs. The former is an acute temperature elevation caused by exposure to excessive heat, or combination of heat and humidity, that overwhelms the heat-regulating mechanisms. The latter is a relatively rare side effect of many drugs, particularly those that affect the central nervous system. Malignant hyperthermia is a rare complication of some types of general anesthesia. Hyperthermia differs from fever in that the body's temperature set point remains unchanged.

  • Extreme Heat (Hyperthermia)

    Hyperthermia is the phenomenon of elevated body temperature due to failed thermoregulation that occurs when a body produces or absorbs more heat than it dissipates. The human body usually can regulate its temperature. When the body gets too hot, it uses several strategies to cool down, including sweating. But if a person spends too much time in the heat without taking in enough fluids, the body's cooling processes can't work properly. When the body becomes dehydrated, it can no longer cool itself by sweating. When this happens, body temperature can raise high enough to make the person sick. Extreme temperature elevation then becomes a medical emergency requiring immediate treatment to prevent disability or death. The most common causes include heat stroke and adverse reactions to drugs. The former is an acute temperature elevation caused by exposure to excessive heat, or combination of heat and humidity, that overwhelms the heat-regulating mechanisms. The latter is a relatively rare side effect of many drugs, particularly those that affect the central nervous system. Malignant hyperthermia is a rare complication of some types of general anesthesia. Hyperthermia differs from fever in that the body's temperature set point remains unchanged.

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