In this algorithm we look at the fate of a young runner who suffered from overheating. Hyperthermia is a serious and life-threatening condition that is caused by a combination of high ambient temperature and excessive physical exercise. It can affect both predisposed and completely healthy and young individuals. This condition can result in many organ failures with the need for transplantation and even death. Many cases of hyperthermia are preventable with proper preparation.

First aid
Published at: 21.6.2022


Jiří Chvojka, MD, PhD
Intensive Care Unit Physician, 1st Internal Medicine Department, University Hospital Plzeň, Plzeň, Czech Republic

Heat stroke from overheating of the body is often an underestimated danger for professional and hobby athletes. The uncontrolled rapid rise in body temperature during sports performance represents a medical urgency which requires an active approach even in pre-hospital care with the start of early active cooling with subsequent transport to the hospital facility. Untreated, it can lead to multiorgan failure syndrome and death. The presented algorithm describes the typical initial symptoms of overheating and heat stroke and very nicely summarizes the fundamental steps in prehospital and hospital care. It draws attention to the need for the organizers to be prepared for similar situations during mass sport events and raises the awareness of the professional public about this infrequent diagnosis.


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Learning targets

1. Student recognizes sighs of hyperthermia.
2. Student knows basic and andvanced treatment of hyperthermia.
3. Student knows complications of hyperthermia.

Key points

1. The key with hyperthermia is to recognize the symptoms early and initiate first aid by cooling.

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