Corey M. Slovis, MD
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Slovis C.; Features and Outcomes of Classic Heat Stroke. Ann Intern Med. 1999;130:614. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-130-7-199904060-00009
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1999;130(7):614.
TO THE EDITOR:
Dematte and colleagues (1) point out that only 1 of their 58 patients was cooled rapidly. Unfortunately, in their review of cooling methods, they do not mention the easiest, quickest, and safest way to rapidly reduce a heat stroke victim's core temperature. The only methods they describe as “the accepted methods of cooling” are the use of body cooling units or immersion in cold or ice water.
Body cooling units, although effective, are expensive and rare. Placing a critically ill patient in a tub of water or ice can be dangerous and makes care more complicated. It is physically difficult to place patients into deep tubs, tubs are usually not readily available, and continuous electrocardiographic monitoring is impossible. In addition, conscious patients often find ice-water immersion intolerable and may shiver uncontrollably, which impairs heat dissipation (2, 3).
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