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Fluid Replacement and Heat Stress, 1993

Pp. 215-227. Washington, D.C.

National Academy Press


Changes in Plasma Volume During Heat Exposure in Young and Older Men

Suzanne M. Fortney1 and Elizabeth Miescher


Dilation of blood vessels during exposure to high ambient heat was noted in 1795 by a physician accompanying British soldiers during their occupation of colonial India. The observations of this physician were quoted in 1955 in a review article on heat acclimation, “In passing from a cold to a hot climate the first thing that occurs is the effect produced by the simple increase of heat on the human frame. Expansion of the fluids and consequent fullness of the vessels is constantly observed to take place.” (Bass et al., 1955, p. 323). This farsighted physician denounced the concept that European peoples could not safely perform exertions in the heat and said that “ while exertions of a single day have often been harmful, bad effects from the greatest exertions in the hottest weather were extremely rare after the campaign had been continued for a few days.” (Bass et al., 1955, p. 323).

Hemodilution after a sudden increase in climatic temperature was reported by Barcroft in his fellow passengers during a voyage from England to Peru (Barcroft et al., 1922). Glickman et al. (1941) found that heat-


Suzanne M. Forntney, NASA Johnson Space Center, Mail Code SD/5, Houston, TX 77058.

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