What are the Wilderness Medical Society guidelines on the treatment of heat stroke in the emergency department (ED)?

Updated: Aug 02, 2019
  • Author: Robert S Helman, MD; Chief Editor: Joe Alcock, MD, MS  more...
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Answer

Hospital treatment

Cold-water immersion should be considered for exertional heat stroke in the hospital setting.

One may consider evaporative and convective cooling in classic heat stroke in the hospital setting, but cooling rates with this method are inferior to those with conductive cooling.

Evaporative and convective cooling is not indicated in exertional heat stroke.

Cool heat stroke patients to a target temperature of no less than 39°C (102.2°F).

Give cold intravenous fluids for adjunctive cooling in heat stroke.

Do not use dantrolene for treating heat stroke patients.


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