Exertional Heat Stroke in a Young Woman: Gender Differences in Response to Thermal Stress

Authors

  • Robert D. Sidman MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Cincinnati. OH Department of Emergency Medicine and Center for Emergency Care
      Rhode Island Hospital 593 Eddy Street Providence, RI 02903
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  • E. John Gallagher MD

    1. Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY Bronx Municipal Hospital Center
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Rhode Island Hospital 593 Eddy Street Providence, RI 02903

ABSTRACT

Exertional heat stroke (EHS) is an acute life-threatening emergency that necessitates the immediate institution of cooling measures. Reported here is a case of EHS in a nonacclimatized young woman who was undergoing strenuous exercise. The patient developed many of the characteristic features of EHS, including central nervous system disturbances, lactic acidosis, rhabdomyolysis, coagulopathy, and abnormal myocardial conduction. While EHS is relatively common in young men, the condition is rare in women. This case presentation addresses gender differences in the response to the thermal stress of intense physical activity.

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