Simple and effective method to lower body core temperatures of hyperthermic patients

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Abstract

Hyperthermia is a potentially life threatening scenario that may occur in patients due to accompanying morbidities, exertion, or exposure to dry and arid environmental conditions. In particular, heat stroke may result from environmental exposure combined with a lack of thermoregulation. Key clinical findings in the diagnosis of heatstroke are (1) a history of heat stress or exposure, (2) a rectal temperature greater than 40 °C, and (3) central nervous system dysfunction (altered mental state, disorientation, stupor, seizures, or coma) (Prendergast and Erickson, 2014 [1]). In these patients, it is important to bring the body's core temperature down to acceptable levels in a short period of time to avoid tissue/organ injury or death (Yoder, 2001; Casa et al., 2007 [2,3]). A number of potential approaches, both non-invasive and invasive, may be used to lower the temperature of these individuals. Non-invasive techniques generally include: evaporative cooling, ice water immersion, whole-body ice packing, strategic ice packing, and convective cooling. Invasive approaches may include gastric lavage or peritoneal lavage (Schraga and Kates [4]). The efficacy of these methods vary and select treatment approaches may be unsuitable for specific individuals (Schraga and Kates [4]). In this work, the effectiveness of radiation cooling of individuals as a stand-alone treatment and comparisons with existing noninvasive techniques are presented.

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