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Differentiating Exertional Heat Exhaustion and Exertional Heat Stroke

presented by Susan Yeargin, PhD, ATC

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Susan Yeargin receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Non-Financial: Susan Yeargin serves on the Korey Stringer Institute Medial Advisory Board, and is an associate professor at the University of South Carolina Department of Athletic Training.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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Video Runtime: 63 Minutes, Learning Assessments: 40 Minutes

The course describes the etiologies attributed to exertional heat exhaustion and exertional heat stroke in active populations. Exertional heat stroke is commonly mistaken for heat exhaustion during evaluation. This course will compare and contrast exertional heat exhaustion and exertional heat stroke signs and symptoms to improve differential diagnosis. Treatment of exertional heat exhaustion and exertional heat stroke can be done on site, and the framework of treatment plan procedures for both conditions is built for active populations. A comparison of oral versus intravenous fluid administration for heat exhaustion patients is presented, and developing a detailed ice water immersion plan for heat stroke patients, with research support, is discussed.

Meet Your Instructor

Susan Yeargin, PhD, ATC

Susan Yeargin is an associate professor of athletic training at the University of South Carolina. She serves on NATA's pronouncements and research committees. She was a task force member and author of the "Preseason Heat-Acclimatization Guidelines for Secondary School Athletics" and a coauthor of the recent NATA position statement update on exertional heat illnesses. She…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Etiology

The etiologies of exertional heat exhaustion and exertional heat stroke in active populations are described. In this chapter, the instructor provides an explanation of why a continuum of the two conditions is a myth and reviews epidemiologic research into the prevalence of each condition.

2. Recognition

Particular focus on the recognition of exertional heat exhaustion is provided in this chapter. The basic signs and symptoms of exertional heat stroke are also provided, but emphasis on key signs and symptoms of exertional heat stroke, exertional heat exhaustion, and other conditions (e.g., exertional sickling) is presented to improve differential diagnosis.

3. Treatment of Exertional Heat Exhaustion

The instructor reviews on-site treatment of exertional heat illness along with the equipment needed. She also compares and contrasts intravenous versus oral hydration for the treatment of exertional heat exhaustion. You will also learn how to recognize when misdiagnosis of heat exhaustion may occur.

4. Treatment of Exertional Heat Stroke: Research

Research support of ice water immersion as the gold standard for EHS treatment is provided. Research regarding alternatives to cold water immersion are also discussed, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each treatment method.

5. Treatment of Exertional Heat Stroke: Practical Implementation

The instructor describes and demonstrates each step of the treatment process (initial, during, and post) for exertional heat stroke. Equipment needed and logistics of each step are stipulated. You will also learn how to determine when it is safe for EMS to transport an EHS patient. Myths that commonly surround ice water immersion are also debunked.

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