Heatstroke due to Vehicular Entrapment: An Autopsy Case Report
Keywords:Heatstroke; Hyperthermia; Automobile; Paediatric; Autopsy
Heatstroke is defined as severe heat illness with elevated body temperature greater than 40.6?C associated
with central nervous system dysfunction. In children, heatstroke as a result of vehicular entrapment is
commonly encountered. We report a case of a six-year-old boy who was accidentally left in a school van
under scorching hot afternoon for several hours. Upon discovery, he was rushed to a hospital where he was
pronounced dead. His body temperature taken at the Emergency Department was 40.3?C. The body felt
warm in spite of apparent presence of post mortem changes such as rigor and livor mortis. His clothes were
drenched in sweat. A medico-legal autopsy was performed. On general examination, his body was pale and
the lips were also parched and pale. Internally, there was subdural haemorrhage and petechial haemorrhages
on the lungs and the epicardial surface of the heart. The cause of death was given as heatstroke as a result of
vehicular entrapment. We wish to emphasize and appeal to the public that this tragic incident is preventable.
Public and private sectors should help creating awareness of dangers in leaving a child unattended in a car
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