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Risk Management Pitfalls in Pediatric Patients With Heat-Related Illness

1. “The outside temperature was only 26.7°C (80°F). There’s no way that the baby’s elevated temperature was related to being left in the car.”

Even in mild-to-moderate environmental temperatures, the temperature inside a car can reach dangerous levels. McLaren showed environmental temperature ranges of 22.2°C to 35.6°C (72°F-96°F) can increase the internal car temperature to 47.2°C (117°F).18

2. “The patient’s rectal temperature was not high enough for her to be considered to have a heat-related illness.”

The diagnosis of heat exhaustion includes temperatures < 40°C (104°F). When considering the diagnosis of a heat-related illness, history of signs and symptoms and examination findings are important in diagnosis and initiating management.

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Last Modified: 11/23/2017
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