ABC Medical Center > Heatstroke

What is Heatstroke?

21:54 - 4 May , 2021


It is a serious condition caused by an exaggerated level of heat in the body, either by being exposed to high temperatures for a long time or by exercising or doing physical activities in climates or conditions that are too hot.

When the body temperature exceeds 40ºC, cardiac, respiratory, renal, muscular, and brain damage begins to occur, which if not treated promptly, can cause serious complications and even endanger life.

The most common causes of heatstroke are:

  • Heatstroke due to prolonged exposure to a climate or environment with extreme heat.
  • Excessive physical exertion in a hot climate or environment.

Also, the risk of suffering it increases if:

  • You wear clothing made of fibers that do not allow perspiration or clothing that is not very cool in hot climates.
  • You drink alcoholic beverages, as it decreases the body temperature regulating powers.
  • You dehydrate

Signs and symptoms Heatstroke

  • Body temperature greater than 40ºC.
  • Shallow, heavy breathing.
  • Accelerated heart rate.
  • Intense migraine.
  • Confusion.
  • Delirium.
  • Trouble speaking.
  • Agitation.
  • Reddish, hot, and dry skin.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomit.
  • Coma.

If you or someone in your family experiences any of these symptoms, go to the ABC Medical Center Emergency Room and try to cool down on the way with water, cool drinks, ice, and cool clothes.

Diagnosis and treatment Heatstroke

For the doctor, it is usually easy to diagnose heatstroke due to the high body temperature and the symptoms, although they will perform blood and urine tests, as well as rhabdomyolysis, X-rays, and CT scan to identify the organic damage that you may have.

The therapy indicated for heatstroke is aimed at returning body temperature to normal levels through cooling therapies that prevent further damage to the various organs:

  • Cold water baths.
  • Evaporative cooling.
  • Cryotherapy.
  • Drugs to counteract chills.

At ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


  • Pinacho-Velázquez JL. «Golpe de calor» en los niños. Rev Mex Pediatr. 2014;81(3):115-119.
  • Castro RBG. Golpe de calor. Reporte de un caso. Rev Med UV. 2004;4(1):10-12.
  • González-Hidalgo G, Sánchez-Flores H, López-Castellanos G. Prueba de esfuerzo a 44°C y 80 % de humedad. Utilidad del traje con hielo. Rev Med Inst Mex Seguro Soc. 2011;49(5):487-492.
  • Castillo OG, Solís C. Hemorragia pulmonar y síndrome de insuficiencia respiratoria aguda secundaria a golpe de calor. Rev Inst Nal Enf Resp Mex. 2006;19(4):276-281.

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