Heatstroke and Hypothermia

Key notes and section for these two conditions caused by the break down of homeostasis (B4)

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Martha BrownB4 - Homeostasis2/2/11
Heat stroke and Hypothermia
Heat stroke
What is it?
Heat stroke is a form of hyperthermia, an abnormally raised body temperature with physical and mental
symptoms. Unlike heat cramps and heat exhaustion, two other forms of hyperthermia that are less severe,
heat stroke is a true medical emergency that can be fatal if not properly and promptly treated. Heat stroke is
also sometimes referred to as heatstroke
What are the Causes?
The body normally generates heat as a result of metabolism, and is usually able to get rid of the heat by
either radiation of heat through the skin or by evaporation of sweat. However, in extreme heat, high
humidity, or physical exertion under the sun, the body may not be able to release the heat and the body
temperature rises, sometimes up to 41.1C o or higher. Another cause of heat stroke is dehydration. A
dehydrated person may not be able to sweat fast enough to remove heat, which causes the body
temperature to rise.
What are the Symptoms?
Symptoms of heat stroke can sometimes mimic those of heart attack or other conditions. Sometimes a
person experiences symptoms of heat exhaustion before progressing to heat strokes.
Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
Muscle cramps and aches, and
However, some individuals can develop symptoms of heat stroke suddenly and rapidly without warning.
Different people may have different symptoms and signs of heatstroke. But common symptoms and signs of
heat stroke include:
High body temperature,
Absence of sweating, with hot red or flushed dry skin,
Rapid pulse,
Difficulty breathing,
Strange behaviour,
Seizure, and/or coma.

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Martha BrownB4 - Homeostasis2/2/11
Treatment of Heatstroke
Victims of heat stroke must receive immediate treatment to avoid permanent organ damage. First and
foremost, cool the victim. Always notify emergency services (999) immediately. If their arrival is delayed,
they can give you further instructions for treatment of the victim.
Move the patient out of direct sunlight, preferably into a cool, shaded area.
Have the patient lie flat and elevate his or her feet.
Remove heat-retaining clothing.…read more

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Martha BrownB4 - Homeostasis2/2/11
Conduction only accounts for 2-3% in dry conditions, but this figure can increase to 50% if the victim
is immersed in cold water.
Convection accounts for 10%, while 2-9% is lost to heating inspired air.
20-27% is lost as a result of evaporation from the skin and lungs.
The body also has a variety of methods to increase heat production. But at a certain low level, the body
cannot continue heat production, and core body temperature drops quickly.
From 98.…read more

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Martha BrownB4 - Homeostasis2/2/11
Clinical death occurs.
Because of decreased cellular activity in stage 3 hypothermia, the body will actually take longer to undergo
brain death. As the temperature decreases further physiological systems falter and heart rate, respiratory
rate, and blood pressure all decreases. This results in an expected HR in the 30s with a temperature of 28 °C
(82 °F).
When watching out for hypothermia other odd signs may be noticed, including paradoxical undressing and
terminal burrowing.…read more

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Martha BrownB4 - Homeostasis2/2/11
Some cold exposure, such as cold hands and feet, may be treated with home care techniques like
hot-water bottles.…read more


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