A hyperbaric oxygen therapy approach to heat stroke with multiple organ dysfunction

Ko Chi Niu, Chen Kuei Chang, Mao Tsun Lin, Kuo Fong Huang

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Here in we report the case of a patient who displayed a classic heat stroke with multiple organ dysfunction and hypercoagulable state resistant to conventional whole body cooling and antipyretic therapy, and necessitating the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) to rescue him from death. A 49-year-old male laborer, suffering from heat stroke syndromes (e.g., hyperpyrexia, seizure and coma, and hypotension), was admitted to an emergency unit of a medical center hospital. The patient displayed multiple organ dysfunction with rhabdomyolysis, hepatic, renal, respiratory, and cerebral dysfunction, and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). Both hyperpyrexia and multiple organ dysfunction were resistant to conventional treatment measures. HBOT was adopted to rescue the patient from heat stroke-induced death. Before HBOT, analyses of serum revealed hypercoagulable state or DIC as well as signs of rhabdomyolysis, and renal and hepatic failure. In addition, pulmonary edema, coma, hypotension, and hyperpyrexia occurred. HBOT was used successfully to combat these syndromes and to rescue the patient from heat stroke death. This case suggests that HBOT is useful for treatment of heat stroke with multiple organ dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-172
Number of pages4
JournalChinese Journal of Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009



  • Blood coagulation
  • Heat stroke
  • Hyperbaric oxygen
  • Multiorgan dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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