Long-term psychological and physiological effects of heat stroke

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Abstract

Heat stroke leads only rarely to permanent neurological deficits and the convalescence is almost complete. There are, however, some sporadic descriptions of disturbances that lasted for up to 4 months. Little has been mentioned in the literature on residual changes in personality and late neurological side effects. The present study was conducted to follow systematically late personality and behavioral abnormalities in a population of heat stroke victims. This study analyzed 21 young subjects (age: 21 ± 2 years), who were inflicted by heat stroke. They were invited for a physiological and psychological follow-up examination at least 6 months posthospitalization. The psychological assessment was comprised of the self-report symptom checklist-90R (SCL-90R), which inquires about symptoms during the 2 weeks preceding the interview. The results indicated that the subjects are psychologically healthy because their scores fell within the normal range. Comparison with a carefully matched control group strengthened this finding. The conclusion was that prominant neurological or behavioral sequelae in heat stroke victims are rare. The psychological assessments clearly indicate that heat stroke did not leave long-term adverse residues. However, one should be aware of the possible complications and follow the patient for several months after the event.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-267
Number of pages3
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Volume54
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1993

Keywords

  • Adverse residues
  • Heat intolerance
  • Heat stroke
  • Neurological complications

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