[pct-l] Heat stroke?

Ellen Shopes igellenig at gmail.com
Mon Aug 4 16:58:44 CDT 2014

I have seen this before (a young person dying is assumed to have heat
stroke).  When the ability to thermoregulate (by sweating) during exercise
in the heat is impaired, there is a rapid influx of 108 degree blood from
exercising muscles into the core and brain.  Collapse is very rapid.  At
Grand Canyon, heat illnesses do not occur until environmental temps exceed
85 degrees.  This young man's experience does not match the presentation of
heat stroke.
A coroner is obligated to look for causes of unattended death, particularly
looking for foul play, etc.  Although they make an honest effort to find
the truth, the push to investigate MVAS,  criminal cases, etc, sometimes
means clearer answers are not found in a wilderness death.
There are individuals who are susceptible to a phenomenon similar to
Malignant Hyperthermia.  While this phenomenon is most closely linked to
certain drugs (anesthetics), there has been debate about stress triggering
hyperthermia.  It is a very rare problem, but may more closely fit the
events in this young man's death.

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