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Title: The effects of environmental heat, with special reference to anhidrotic heat exhaustion
Author: Horne, Gordon O.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1951
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Following a review of the physiological principles involved in the regulation of body temperature and of the various ways in which the body is known to react when it is exposed to abnormal degrees of environmental heat, a "working" classification has been proposed in an attempt to clarify these heat effects syndromes. The terminology used was based on names hallowed by tradition, but modified in such a way as to illustrate the aetiology and principal clinical features of the syndromes. It was not claimed that the classification should be the definitive one, because of certain deficiencies in knowledge. Then, following a consideration of the different types of climate in which heat effects syndromes are known to occur, the expected distribution of thes syndromes according to climatic conditions was deduced. This hypothesis was shown to be correct by personal experience and a shady of the reports of the experience of other observers. A detailed study of the syndromes illustrated the importance of the different factors contributing to "climate ", but also demonstrated the difficulty in assessing their relative contribution. This was sometimes increased by the fact that environmental conditions cannot always be accessed from observations made by conventional methods, since these may be very remote from actual living and working conditions. Whilst the relationship between dry bulb temperature and heat stroke is fairly obvious it has been clearly demonstrated that the minilLuIL dry bulb and the wet bulb temperatures are also very important factors in the aetiology of some heat effects syndromes, although their exact contribution in particular syndromes has been difficult to assess from the data available. This was well illustrated in the discussion on anhidrotic heat exhaustion (Chapter 11), and in particular in the interpretation of the significance of the changes in the minimum dry bulb and wet bulb temperatures associated with the abrupt cessation of the epidemic of this syndrome at Karachi in 1946 (figure 6). There is no doubt, however, that the wet -bulb temperature, long known to nave a great influence on comfort sensation and ability to work in hot environments, makes a definite contribution to the aetiology of some heat effects syndromes. It has also been shown that certain climatic factors, including the wet -bulb temperatures, are important in the aetiology not only of prickly heat (a condition of much greater importance than has hitherto been appreciated) but also of other skin diseases. Important deficiences in knowledge have also been revealed and suggestions made for their remedy, but it has been pointed out that experiments conducted in artificial environments have a limited application, and that further studies in the field are also necessary to clarify the outstanding problems.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available