Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Fainting due to Heat Overview

Another name for Fainting due to Heat is Heat Syncope.

What is heat syncope?
A person with heat syncope suddenly faints or passes out during activities in a hot environment. The body cools itself by increasing blood flow to the skin, where heat is released into the environment. This shift of blood flow reduces the amount of blood flowing to other parts of the body, including the brain. If the blood flow to the brain is reduced too much, the brain stops functioning, which results in fainting.

What are the symptoms of heat syncope?
Symptoms of heat syncope include fainting, dizziness, dry mouth, excessive thirst, excessive sweating, fatigue, headache, nausea, and vomiting.

How does the doctor treat heat syncope?
Treatment of heat syncope includes removing clothing, a tepid water bath or sponge bath, oral fluids, intravenous fluids, cardiac monitoring, and rest in a cool environment.

Continue to Fainting due to Heat Risk Factors

Last Updated: Aug 27, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Fainting due to Heat References
  1. Booker RJ, Bricknell MC. Heat illness--recent developments. J R Army Med Corps. 2002 Mar;148(1):11-8. [12024885]
  2. Bytomski JR, Squire DL. Heat illness in children. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2003 Dec;2(6):320-4. [14583161]
  3. Coris EE, Ramirez AM, Van Durme DJ. Heat illness in athletes: the dangerous combination of heat, humidity and exercise. Sports Med. 2004;34(1):9-16. [14715036]
  4. Lugo-Amador NM, Rothenhaus T, Moyer P. Heat-related illness. Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2004 May;22(2):315-27, viii. [15163570]
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