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Type: Journal article
Title: Dehydration and heat-related death - Sweat lodge syndrome
Author: Byard, R.
Riches, K.
Citation: American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, 2005; 26(3):236-239
Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Issue Date: 2005
ISSN: 0195-7910
Abstract: A 37-year-old Caucasian male died of dehydration and heat exposure following a sweat lodge ceremony in outback Australia. The case demonstrates difficulties that may arise in the determination of the cause of death at autopsy due to nonspecific pathologic findings in hyperthermic deaths. There are also a number of features that characterize this particular "sweat lodge syndrome," including prolonged exposure to elevated temperatures in a relatively uncontrolled environment, failure to ensure adequate hydration, failure to appreciate the significance of loss of consciousness, use of ineffective alternative methods of treatment, and delay in seeking appropriate medical care. Unfortunately, the adoption of rituals and practice from other cultures may not be a completely safe undertaking. Participants in this type of activity must be cognizant of the types of medical problems that may arise. Individuals with significant cardiovascular disease, those who are taking certain medications that predispose to hyperthermia, or those who have had large amounts of alcohol should not enter sweat lodges.
Keywords: Humans
Heat Stroke
Spiritual Therapies
Cause of Death
Forensic Medicine
Forensic Pathology
South Australia
DOI: 10.1097/01.paf.0000163838.92053.fb
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 6
Pathology publications

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