sunstroke

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sunstroke

 [sun´strōk]
a profound disturbance of the body's heat-regulating mechanism caused by prolonged exposure to excessive heat from the sun, particularly when there is little or no circulation of air. Elderly persons with underlying chronic disorders, those who use alcohol and atropine-containing drugs, and those with certain skin disorders are more susceptible. Sunstroke is a type of heat stroke, but the category heat stroke also covers disorders caused by other forms of intense heat.

Recognition. Sunstroke is not the same as heat exhaustion, a less serious disorder in which the amount of salt and fluid in the body falls below normal. In sunstroke there is a disturbance in the mechanism that controls perspiration. Since sunstroke is much more dangerous than heat exhaustion and is treated differently, it is of the utmost importance to distinguish between the two. The first symptoms of both disorders may be similar: headache, dizziness, and weakness. But later symptoms differ sharply. In heat exhaustion, there is perspiration and a normal or below normal temperature, whereas in sunstroke there is extremely high fever and absence of sweating. Sunstroke also may cause convulsions and sudden loss of consciousness. In extreme cases it may be fatal.
Treatment. In treatment of sunstroke, immediate steps must be taken to lower the body temperature, which may rise as high as 42 to 44.5°C (108 to 112°F). The patient should be placed in a shady, cool place and most of the clothing should be removed. The emergency system should be activated. Then cool water is gently applied, followed by fanning to increase heat dissipation through evaporation. Further treatment consists of measures to lower the body temperature, including ice packs, and iced drinks by mouth. Intravenous fluids are usually necessary.



Heat stroke can be prevented. Patient education should focus on protective measures such as adequate hydration and ventilation and the wearing of proper clothing. Vigorous activities should not be undertaken in extremely hot weather.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

sun·stroke

(sŭn'strōk),
A form of heatstroke resulting from undue exposure to the sun's rays, probably caused by the action of actinic rays combined with high temperature; symptoms are those of heatstroke, but often without fever.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

sunstroke

(sŭn′strōk′)
n.
Heat stroke caused by exposure to the sun and characterized by a rise in temperature, convulsions, and coma. Also called insolation, siriasis.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
An outdated term that should not be used for heat intolerance conditions because these may occur in absence of sun and have been known to occur indoors—with high heat and excessive humidity
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.

sunstroke

Sports medicine 'The outdated term “sunstroke:” should not be used for heat intolerance conditions because these conditions may occur in absence of sun and have been known to occur indoors… with high heat and excessive humidity'. See Heat intolerance.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

sun·stroke

, sun stroke (sŭn'strōk)
A form of heatstroke resulting from undue exposure to the sun's rays, probably caused by the action of actinic rays combined with high temperature; symptoms are those of heatstroke, but often without fever.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012

sunstroke

See HEATSTROKE.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005