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PATHOLOGY OF HYPOTHERMIA

Parsons, Sarah

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Pathology - Journal of the RCPA: 2010 - Volume 42 - Issue - p S26
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Aims: Hypothermia can occur in temperate climates such as Australia. This talk aims to look at the pathological features that have been recorded in deaths due to hypothermia in Victoria from January 2005 to November 2009.

Method: An electronic NCIS search was conducted for the word ‘hypothermia’ covering the period 01/01/2005 to 28/11/2009 (only completed autopsy reports were examined).

Results: In the 5‐year period examined there were 64 cases where hypothermia was the cause of death or suggested as a contributing factor. Of the cases that had full autopsies all had pathological features suggestive of hypothermia including gastric erosions, patchy erosions over large joints and pancreatitis. Body temperatures were only available in cases who had died in hospital.

Conclusion: Hypothermia is used as a cause of death in temperate climates. All cases examined in this case series showed pathological features known to occur in hypothermia.

© 2010 Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia