A Prince George’s County woman has died from hypothermia, accounting for the second hypothermia-related death in the state this winter.
Officials in the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said the woman, who was 65 or older, died earlier in the winter, but the cause of her death was confirmed to be hypothermia this week.
“Because it has to go through the medical examiner, it could just be confirmed this week,” said Dori Henry, a state department spokeswoman.
Hypothermia can occur when body temperatures fall below 95 degrees, causing poor circulation, numbness and fatigue, according to the state department of health and mental hygiene. Nearly 600 U.S. residents die of hypothermia each year, the state department said.
“Protect yourself from the winter elements before you head outside,” said Laura Herrera, the department’s deputy secretary for Public Health Services. “A few extra moments to prepare could keep you safe as we head into the coldest months.”
Henry said the state department does not disclose the day a person dies or their place of residence as to not reveal the identities of hypothermia victims.
The first hypothermia-related death in Maryland was of a man 65 or older from Frederick County.
Last year’s winter season in the state accounted for 15 hypothermia-related deaths, according to the department.
There were 43 hypothermia-related deaths in the 2010-2011 season in Maryland, Henry said.