Exertional heat-related illness (EHRI) is comprised of several states that afflict physically active persons when exercising during conditions of high environmental heat stress. Certain forms of EHRI may become life threatening if not treated. Exertional heat stroke (EHS), characterized by a core body temperature of >40 ° C and mental status changes, is the most severe form of EHRI. EHS must be treated immediately with rapid body cooling to reduce morbidity and mortality. Many EHRI cases are preventable by following heat acclimatization guidelines, modifying sports and exercise sessions during conditions of high environmental heat stress, maintaining adequate hydration, avoiding exertion in the heat when ill, and by educating sports medicine personnel, coaches, parents, and athletes on the early recognition and prevention of EHRI. Heat exhaustion, exercise-associated collapse, exercise-associated muscle cramps, exercise-associated hyponatremia, and exertional rhabdomyolysis are also described.
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