Exertional heat stroke (EHS) is a leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality among both athletes and warfighters. Since current evidence suggests that the history of a prior event is an important risk factor for an EHS event, sports medicine providers can find post-EHS return to play/duty (RTP/D) decisions challenging. Heat tolerance testing is a tool that can help with such decisions by exposing the subject to a given heat load under controlled conditions to assess the presence or absence of heat tolerance. This special communication explores the challenge of the RTP/D after an EHS event and the potential role of heat tolerance testing in making this clinical decision.
Heat tolerance testing may have a valuable role in decisions on return to play after exertional heat stroke.
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD
Address for correspondence: Francis G. O'Connor, MD, MPH, FACSM, 7305 Scarlet Oak Court, Fairfax Station, VA 22039; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.