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Early organ dysfunction course, cooling time and outcome in classic heatstroke

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To describe the course of early organ dysfunction in a cohort of patients admitted in ICU suffering classic heatstroke.


Prospective observational single-centre cohort study with a 1-year follow-up.



Measurements and main results

Clinical and biological data of 22 patients were analysed. Median body temperature on admission was 41.1°C. Respiratory, circulatory, haematological, hepatic and renal function all deteriorated within the first 24 h of admission. ICU-mortality was 63.6%. Cooling time, serum lactate, serum cardiac troponin I and creatinine were significantly higher in non-survivors. Early ICU-mortality (within 7 days of ICU stay) was due to multiple organ failure. Late ICU-mortality was due to neurological disability.


Classic heat stroke may demonstrate a rapidly worsening organ dysfunction course leading to death even though cooling procedures and intensive care management are promptly started.

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The authors would like to thank all medical and nursing staff of Hôpital Bichat-Claude Bernard for their help during these dramatic events. No grant support or funding sources were provided for this study.

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Correspondence to Sebastian Pease.

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Pease, S., Bouadma, L., Kermarrec, N. et al. Early organ dysfunction course, cooling time and outcome in classic heatstroke. Intensive Care Med 35, 1454–1458 (2009).

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