Exertional heat stroke: A case series

Yoram Epstein*, Daniel S. Moran, Yair Shapiro, Ezra Sohar, Joshua Shemer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Exertional heat stroke (EHS) is a state of extreme hyperthermia that occurs when excess heat that is generated by muscular exercise exceeds the body's ability to dissipate it at the same rate. EHS is thought to coincide with previously healthy, highly motivated, and relatively untrained individuals exerting in hot environments for long periods. Purpose: To establish this notion, the present study was aimed to follow the trends in the incidence of EHS in the period 1988-1996. Methods: During these years, 150 cases of male soldiers (age = 20 ± 3 yr) were reported to our institute as suffering from heat illnesses. According to the files, 82 cases were definitely diagnosed as EHS. Results: More than 50% of the cases occurred during the first 6 months in service. Most of the cases occurred during the summer season (June-September), but 30% of the cases occurred during the spring. EHS was not related to time in the day. Many cases occurred during the night or early morning, even under mild heat load. Forty percent of the cases occurred during very short activities, and about 60% occurred already during the first 2 h of exercise. The results were discussed in view of the regulations which prevail in the Israeli army. Conclusions: It seems that almost all EHS cases occurred when regulations were not strictly followed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-228
Number of pages5
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999


  • Heat illness
  • Heat stress
  • Hyperthermia
  • Physical activity
  • Seasonal variation


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