Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

Living Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Heat-Related Illness

  • Faiza Humayun
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-56782-2_9252-1



Heat-related illness is the spectrum of pathophysiologic response when the body becomes unable to regulate its core temperature.

Historical Background

Heat exposure and related illness have impacted military, athletic, and occupational populations throughout history with measurable morbidity and mortality. Only recently has the pathophysiology and optimum treatment been been more thoroughly researched.

Current Knowledge

Human beings, like other mammals, are endothermic animals that use both autonomic and behavioral mechanisms to maintain body temperatures within a narrow range (approximately 35°–41 °C or 95°–105.8 °F). Normal physiologic function is dependent on a relatively constant internal temperature as enzyme activity, immune responses, electrical conductivity, and membrane integrity have evolved to perform most efficiently within a narrow thermal spectrum. Dry heat gain occurs when surrounding ambient...

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References and Readings

  1. Becker, J. A., & Stewart, L. K. (2011). Heat-related illness. American Family Physician, 83(11), 1325–1330.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Leon, L. R., & Kenefick, R. W. (2012). Pathophysiology of heat-related illnesses. In P. S. Auerbach (Ed.), Wilderness medicine (pp. 113–129). Maryland Heights, Missouri: Mosby.Google Scholar
  3. Radcliff, N. (2016). It’s getting hot out there. Washington Times.. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jun/21/health-risks-heat-related-illness/. Accessed December 27, 2016.
  4. United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (2016) https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatstress/heat_illnesses.html. Accessed December 27, 2016.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Medical Director Inpatient Traumatic Brain Injury UnitJames Haley VA HospitalTampaUSA