Fatal rhabdomyolysis presenting as mild heat illness in military training

J W Gardner, J A Kark
Military Medicine 1994, 159 (2): 160-3
A 30-year-old black male soldier with sickle cell trait presented with fatal exertional rhabdomyolysis (which was unrecognized during 14 hours at a field clinic). After prompt treatment for heat exhaustion, his symptoms seemed mild and he was afebrile. His clinical course illustrates the potential for severe illness in the absence of fever, the importance of assessing mental dysfunction, indications for laboratory evaluation, the need for comprehensive management of severe dehydration and acidosis, common laboratory features of acute renal failure and exertional rhabdomyolysis, and the increased risk of exercise-related death in those with sickle cell trait.

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