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Neurological rehabilitation following heat illness in the UK Armed Forces
  1. Daniel Wilkins1,
  2. O O'Sullivan1,2,
  3. J Sayer1,
  4. L Penny3,
  5. D Roiz de Sa4,
  6. H Ellis3 and
  7. S Dharm-Datta3
  1. 1 AMS Support Unit, Army Medical Services, Camberley, Surrey, UK
  2. 2 Academic Department of Military Rehabilitation, Stanford on Soar, Loughborough, UK
  3. 3 Neurorehabilitation Unit, Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Stanford on Soar, Loughborough, UK
  4. 4 Environmental Medicine, Institute of Naval Medicine, Gosport, Hampshire, UK
  1. Correspondence to Maj Daniel Wilkins, AMS Support Unit, Army Medical Services, Camberley, Surrey, UK; d.wilkins{at}


Heat illness remains a significant threat to health in the UK Armed Forces despite recent improvements in the prevention of cases. A small number of heat illness survivors develop long-term neurological sequelae. Here we briefly review the background literature and present our experience of treating UK Armed Forces patients with neurological consequences of heat illness. In our cohort of patients, we observed significant improvements in subjective symptoms and objective assessments following a period of neurological rehabilitation at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre. We conclude with recommendations for further research and for the incorporation of screening for neurological disability following heat illness into service policy.

  • rehabilitation medicine
  • neurological injury
  • rehabilitation medicine

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  • Contributors DW and OOS conceived the idea for the paper. JS collated the case series. DW, OOS, LP and DRdS drafted the article. HE and SD-D suggested revisions. DW, OOS, HE and SD-D agreed on the final manuscript for publication.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.