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Heat Tetany

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Other Names

  • Heat Tetany
  • Carpopedal spasm

Background

  • This page refers to heat tetany, a heat related illness

History

Epidemiology


Pathophysiology

  • General
    • Heat stress causes hyperventilation, respiratory alkalosis
    • Tetany: hyperexcitability of nerve and muscle when the concentration of extracellular ionized calcium is decreased
    • Most commonly manifests as carpopedal spasm, circumoral parasthesia
  • May mimic Heat Cramps
    • Separate clinical entity
    • Characterized by cramping of muscle compartments

Associated Conditions


Risk Factors

  • Unknown

Differential Diagnosis

Differential Diagnosis Heat Illness


Clinical Features

Carpopedal spasm[1]
  • History
    • Patients often report perioral or circumoral parasthesias
    • Carpopedal spasm
    • Muscle cramping should be absent (seen in heat cramps)
  • Physical Exam
    • Core body temperature can be normal or elevated
  • Special Tests

Evaluation

  • Clinical diagnosis

Classification

  • Not applicable

Management

  • General
    • Move to cooler environment
    • Important to consider other etiologies (i.e. status asthmaticus, metabolic acidosis, CNS disorders, toxicology, etc)
  • Rebreathing
    • Placing patient on a partial rebreather oxygen mask
    • Will allow patient to rebreathe CO2 without causing hypoxia, reduce hyperventilation
  • Benzodiazepine
    • May be required to help terminate symptoms

Rehab and Return to Play

Rehabilitation

  • No specific rehab

Return to Play/ Work

  • May return to play/work as soon as symptoms resolve

Complications and Prognosis

Prognosis

  • Self limited

Complications

  • Unknown

See Also


References

  1. Athappan, Ganesh, and Venkatesh Kumar Ariyamuthu. "Chvostek's sign and carpopedal spasm." New England Journal of Medicine 360.18 (2009): e24.
Created by:
John Kiel on 30 June 2019 22:49:00
Authors:
Last edited:
15 September 2022 08:38:11
Category: