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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1995 Dec 22;44(50):933-5.

Hypothermia-related deaths--New Mexico, October 1993-March 1994.


Hypothermia is an unintentional lowering of the body temperature to < or = 95 F (< or = 35 C) (1). From 1979 through 1992, 10,550 persons in the United States died from hypothermia, an average of 754 deaths per year (range: 557-1021). Most of these deaths occurred during winter months in three distinct climatic areas: northern states characterized by moderate to severe cold temperatures during winter (e.g., Illinois and New York); southern states where rapid changes in temperature occur because of the effects of weather systems (e.g., North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia); and western states in areas of high elevations and profound declines in temperatures at night (e.g., New Mexico and Arizona). From October 1993 through March 1994, a total of 23 deaths attributed to hypothermia were reported to the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator. This report summarizes the investigations of four of these deaths and the epidemiology for all 23 cases.

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