Issue 12 and Volume 159.

BY STEVE MARKEY AND MICHAEL DAVIDSON, M.D. Although exposure to extreme heat is a common occurrence in the life of a firefighter, not everybody is aware of some of the less obvious, yet equally lethal, ways in which heat can quickly create a life-threatening situation. One danger is the onset of heat stroke, often occurring when core brain temperature exceeds 104°F. However, even a core brain temperature of more than 101.8° F can produce significant central nervous system (CNS) dysfunction, resulting in reduced hand/eye coordination, impaired cognitive functions, loss of appropriate decision-making ability, and impaired short-term memory. Photo courtesy of SportsTemp, LLC. Click here to enlarge image All of the above can create an extremely hazardous situation for firefighters, whose ability to think quickly under pressure is critical to their survival and the success of their mission. The key is to find a fast, effective method to measure core brain…

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