Hypothermia Suspected In Five New Mexico Deaths

NEWS RELEASE January 18, 2008 Contact: Tim Stepetic, Office of the Medical Investigator, 505/272-0733 For Immediate Release ALBUQUERQUE , NM – The State Office of the Medical Investigator will be examining five cases of suspected hypothermia this morning. The deaths took place in four New Mexico cities between 9 a.m. Thursday and 4 a.m. today. Suspected victims were from Albuquerque (two), Belen, Taos, and Kirtland, and all were male, ranging in age from 37 to 99. One of the victims was known to be homeless. Those at greatest risk of death by hypothermia are the homeless, elderly and abusers of alcohol. Autopsies will be conducted in all cases to rule out the possibilities of trauma or natural disease. Hypothermia does not present with a ready list of physical findings, thus the diagnosis is one of exclusion and of circumstances. The Office of the Medical Investigator advises all citizens of the state that extreme cold can be a very serious and life-threatening condition. All possible cautions and measures should be taken to wear appropriate clothing and to avoid situations where extreme temperatures can lead to hypothermia, which can result in disorientation, and ultimately, death.

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