Basic Definitions

Heat stroke may be exertional or non-exertional.

Exertional heat stroke is when heavy physical exertion, usually in young people, combines with environmental heat exposure. Heat dissipation mechanisms are overwhelmed and heat stroke results.

Non-exertional heat stroke is classical heat stroke and is more commonly encountered in elderly or debilitated patients. It occurs when simple environmental heat exposure overwhelms homeostatic control mechanisms.

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