What is hyperthermia?

What is hyperthermia?

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Preliminary autopsy tests showed Kent State football player Tyler Heintz died likely of hyperthermia. Heintz had a very high body temperature, but investigators have yet to determine what triggered the event.

According to medicinenet.com hyperthermia is overheating of the body, possibly due to extreme weather conditions.

MedicineNet also shows hyperthermia can be prevented in many cases through the use of air conditioning and use of ventilation as well as by ensuring that vulnerable persons drink extra water.

Hyperthermia should not be confused with hypothermia. According to the Mayo Clinic hypothermia is medical emergency that occurs when someone's body loses heat faster than it can produce heat.

Construction worker Trevor Tesmer made sure he and his fellow workers drank plenty of liquids Thursday. They were toiling in the hot sun on West 25th Street, and Tesmer brought a whole cooler of stuff to drink.

Thirty years in the construction business has taught Trevor a thing or two.

"Hydrating, water, ice tea, trying to stay cool, get in the shade every once and a while," he said.

Trevor and Dr. Charles Emerman, Emergency Department chairman at Metro Health Medical Center, are on the same page trying to avoid letting the heat get to you.

"The most serious is heat stroke and with heat stroke you become so hot and gotten so dehydrated the body loses its ability to regulate the heat. So, it affects nearly every organ in the body. One becomes confused,  they have heart problems, they have kidney problems, they have lung problems," Emerman said. "So there's no part of the body that's not affected by heat stroke."

If not treated right away heat stroke can and does become deadly. That's essentially what happened to Heintz at Kent State.

"The important thing is to stay well hydrated," said Emerman. "So, it's drinking fluids before you exercise, stopping every 20 to 30 minutes during exercise, get hydrated again and then monitoring an athlete's weight. If you lose more than 3 percent of your body weight during a workout, you've gone too far."

Just remember the heat is on, and while we like to have fun in the sun, too much sunshine can land us in the hospital or worse.

So drink plenty of fluids and limit your time in this heat.

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