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BioMed Research International
Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 5629474, 6 pages
Research Article

Characteristics of Heat Illness during Hajj: A Cross-Sectional Study

1Clinical Research Management Department, Executive Administration of Research, King Abdullah Medical City in Holy Capital, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
2Research Center, King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3Medical College, Umm Al-Qura University, Al Taif Road, Makkah 24382, Saudi Arabia
4Planning and Research Department, General Directorate of Health Affairs, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
5Emergency Hospital At Mina, Makkah 24243, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence should be addressed to Doaa A. Abdelmoety

Received 12 December 2017; Revised 4 January 2018; Accepted 21 January 2018; Published 14 February 2018

Academic Editor: Gianluca Coppola

Copyright © 2018 Doaa A. Abdelmoety et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Data regarding the characteristics and outcomes of heat illness are lacking in the literature. The present study aimed to identify the clinical characteristics, morbidity, management, and mortality associated with heat illness among Hajj participants. Methods. A cross-sectional study was conducted during the Hajj in 2016 on patients who presented to emergency departments and were diagnosed with heat exhaustion or heatstroke. Data were collected using a structured collection sheet developed based on the literature. Results. A total of 267 patients were recruited. Of these, 80 (29%) and 187 (67.75%) were diagnosed with heatstroke and heat exhaustion, with 6.3% and 0.0% mortality, respectively. The mean age of the patients was years. Diabetes mellitus was the most common comorbidity among both heatstroke and heat exhaustion patients. The majority of patients had hyperthermia and electrolyte imbalance. Most of the heat illness cases were treated per heat illness guidelines. Conclusions. Although authorities are working on research and forming interdisciplinary teams to prevent health problems during the Hajj, the mortality rate from heatstroke is high and the majority of the patients had hyperthermia, varied signs and symptoms, elevated creatinine levels, and electrolyte imbalances.