Three Marylanders dead from hypothermia so far
This week's unusually cold weather has contributed to the death of an elderly Anne Arundel County resident, according to state health officials. The death was the third this fall attributed in part to hypothermia. All were 65 or older and all had underlying illnesses that contributed to their deaths.
Maryland's Health Secretary, John M. Colmers, urged Marylanders to stay warm as temperatures drop. "Check on friends and neighbors, especially seniors who may be living alone. A little care and awareness will help us avoid these tragedies," he said.
The first two deaths involved a person in Cecil County in late October, and a Baltimore City resident in early November. Temperatures in the region at that time were averaging about 3.5 degrees below normal. Since Dec. 1 the mercury has averaged more than 5 degrees below normal.
After a brief warmup this weekend, temperatures are expected to drop again, with highs early next week near 30 degrees, and lows in the teens. Average highs at this time of year in Baltimore are around 46 degrees.
Last year, 42 Marylanders died in circumstances in which hypothermia played a role, state health officials said.
Signs of hypothermia include uncontrollable shivering, cold, pale skin, numbness, fatigue, poor circulation, disorientation, slurred speech and bluish or puffy skin.
Tips for dealing with cold weather can be found at www.dhmh.maryland.gov/ Click on "Hypothermia and Frostbite."
(SUN PHOTO: Barbara Haddock Taylor, January 2010)