Hypothermia could be cause of woman's death
Mon, 07 Jan 2013 22:51:27 GMT —
Police responded to a 911 call just after 5am Monday. When they arrived they found the body of 49-year-old Annette Logan.
Though police say thay initially investigate any body found as if it were a homicide, this has indications that it may have been something else.
Joe Heffernan, PIO for the Toledo Police explains, "There are some signs that it may have been hypothermia... but we won't know until the coroner is done with their investigation."
With temps below freezing at night, doctors say hypothermia is a definite possibility.
"Your body isn't able to get out of the elements or respond to whatever cold temperature you're being exposed to. And your entire body drops," says Justin Bright, M.D., who works in the ER at Toledo Hospital.
He says the human body can get to about 89 degrees and still be ok, but below that gets extremely dangerous, and potentially fatal.
"You'll first start noticing shivering. Maybe increased respiratory rate as your body temperature slowly starts to drop," says Bright.
And unless you get out of the elements in a hurry, your brain may forget to tell you that's what you need to do.
"Altered judgement, change in your mental status. Even comas and ultimately death if intervention doesn't happen quickly," explains Bright.
He says alcohol also plays a large part in most hypothermia cases they see.
He says, "Its not uncommon for us to have patients that have severe alcohol use passing out on a bench, on a street, whatever."
According to neighbors, Annette Logan lived in the house just 30 feet away from where she was found. They said she frequently walked that route through the alley to a local store.
Police must now wait for results from the coroner to find out whether hypethermia caused logan's death, or something else.