Patients presenting to the ED with hyperthermia pose a diagnostic challenge because of the broad array of conditions associated with elevated core temperature. It is important to obtain information related to environmental heat exposure as well as the patient’s activities prior to the onset of symptoms. To institute proper treatment, it is important to recognize other manifestations of heat-related illnesses in the ED. Because heat stroke can compromise both the respiratory and the circulatory systems, evaluation of the airway, respiratory rate, and circulation is crucial.5,9,64 In this section, the examination of the central nervous system (CNS), cardiovascular system, lungs, abdomen, and skin for patients with heat illness will be discussed.
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