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01.08.2014 | case report | Ausgabe 15-16/2014

Wiener klinische Wochenschrift 15-16/2014

Life-threatening heat stroke presenting with ST elevations: a report of consecutive cases during the heat wave in Austria in July 2013

Wiener klinische Wochenschrift > Ausgabe 15-16/2014
Dr. Elisabeth Lassnig, Patrick Dinkhauser, Edwin Maurer, Bernd Eber


Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition due to an acute thermoregulatory failure during exposure to high environmental temperatures. We report a series of four cases (three exertional, one classic heat stroke) during the heat wave of July 2013 in Austria. All of them presented with a core temperature > 41 °C, central nervous dysfunction, acute respiratory and renal failure, disseminated intravascular coagulation, rhabdomyolysis, and severe electrocardiographic changes, two cases even mimicking ST-elevation myocardial infarction. The patients were cooled to normal temperature with the “Arctic sun” external cooling system within hours. Electrocardiographic changes resolved quickly. All patients primarily recovered from multiple organ dysfunction and could be discharged from intensive care unit. Unfortunately, the two elder patients died 1 week and 5 weeks later because of late complications.

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