Heat exhaustion in the emergency department: should not be confused with other forms of heat related illness

ALKAHLOUT B, SHARIFF M, SHAIKH M, JACOB NA, HASHIM TH. Heat exhaustion in the emergency department: should not be confused with other forms of heat related illness Med Emergency, MJEM 2018; 26:4-7.

DOI 10.26738/MJEM.2017/mjem26.2018/BA.OAE.210217

Key words: emergency medicine, heat exhaustion, humidity
  • Authors’ affiliation
  • Article history / info
  • Conflict of interest statement
  • Authors’ contribution

Correspondent author: Baha Hamdi ALKAHLOUT, MD

Emergency Department, Hamad General Hospital,

Hamad Medical Corporation,

POB. 3050 , Doha-Qatar

bahadoctor@yahoo.com

Alkahlout B, MD, Shariff M, MD, Shaikh M, MD, Jacob NA, MD, Hashim Th, MD

Emergency Department, Hamad General Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, POB. 3050, Doha, Qatar

Category: Original article

Received: Oct. 25, 2017

Revised: Dec. 13, 2017

Accepted: Feb. 21, 2017

There is no conflict of interest to declare
BK, MS, MS, NJ and TH have all made substantial contributions to the article’s conception and design, acquisition of data, and analysis and interpretation of data. Each of the aforementioned authors has played an integral role in drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, and each of the aforementioned authors has given final approval of the version to be published.

ABSTRACT

Objective: Heat Exhaustion is a common heat related illness presentation seen in Emergency departments in hot and humid areas around the world. Despite being a well-established diagnosis, current literature shows inconsistent understanding of this disorder. In this study we aim to review the different clinical aspects of heat exhaustion.

Methods: In this retrospective study conducted in the emergency department at Hamad General Hospital, Doha-Qatar between May 2013 and September 2014, we reviewed the records of all patients diagnosed with heat exhaustion on discharge.

Results: Three hundred seventy-eight patients were included. Most of them presented in days where the highest ambient temperature (above 40° C) was associated with a relative humidity up to 60%. All patients had a smooth clinical course with no complications before discharge.

Conclusions: Heat Exhaustion is mostly a benign disorder, which should not be considered to overlap with other forms of heat related illnesses. Mild cases can be managed outside emergency departments

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