Hyperthermia pathophysiology

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

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Overview

Body temperatures above 40°C (104 °F) are life-threatening. This compares to normal body temperature of 36-37°C (97-98°F). At 41°C (106 °F), brain death begins, and at 45°C (113°F) death is nearly certain. Internal temperatures above 50°C (122°F) will cause rigidity in the muscles and certain, immediate death.

Heat stroke may come on suddenly, but usually follows a less-threatening condition commonly referred to as heat exhaustion or heat prostration.

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