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Hypothermia occurs more commonly in those individuals who have underlying disease or are incapacitated, such as under the influence of alcohol. People can die from improperly heated homes or apartments or if they are caught outside in the cold. Alcoholics can become hypothermic if they fall asleep in the cold while inebriated. Nursing home patients can succumb to the cold after becoming confused and walking outdoors during winter months.

There are usually no external signs of trauma unless the individual was rendered incapacitated by an injury before dying from the cold.

"Paradoxical undressing" may occur because the individual may begin to undress while dying from the cold. This may appear suspicious if the decedent is a naked woman found outside with her clothes strewn about. An initial impression may suggest sexual assault, but further investigation should uncover the correct manner and cause of death.

Electrution Death Naked Woman
figure 11.2 There may be very few injuries from low voltage deaths; these small lesions are typical and may be easy to miss.
Gunshot Wound Through Cloth
figure 11.3 The only injury to this man who died of electrocution is a burned-off left little finger. This was probably the entrance site. See next photo.
Death From Gunshot Chest
figure 11.5 A closer view of the missing finger. The man died because the charge traveled up through the arm and across his chest into the heart.
Gunshot Wounds The Arm
figure 11.4 He was working on this electrical box at his farm. The wires were "hot" and he thought he could work around them safely. See next photo.
Gunshot Wounds
figure 11.6 Entrance burns from grabbing a "hot" wire.
Gunshot Wound Hand
figure 11.7 Burn mark of entrance.
Electricution Burns
figure 11.9 This man was both electrocuted and burned. He has direct injuries from the electrocution and burns from his clothing. See next photo.
Slippage Skin
figure 11.11 Another case of skin slippage caused by the heat during an electrocution.
Gunshot Wounds
figure 11.8 The arrow points to an outline of the head of pliers the man was holding in his right hand. He was crawling on the ground under a house fixing the wiring when he came into contact with an uninsulated wire. The burn on the chest indicates the path of the charge throughout the heart.
Electrocution Burns Body
figure 11.10 There is skin slippage of the hands caused by the heat.
Electrocution Burns Body
figure 11.12 This young man was on his internship with a cable company when he touched a high tension wire (70,000 volts) with some metal rods. See next photo.
Under Chin Gunshot Wound
figure 11.13 He had significant flash burns under his clothing from the heat. See next photo.
Gunshot Wound Body Part Statistics
figure 11.15 The burning of the body did not occur in any systematic order. Some parts of the body were not burned. See next photo.
480 Volt Burn9mm Gunshot Wounds Arm
figure 11.14 Flash burns of the arm under the clothing. See next photo.
9mm Gunshot Wounds Arm
figure 11.16 There was significant injury to the back. See next photo.

figure 11.17 One leg was much more damaged than the other. See next photo.

Gun Shot Wound The Leg
figure 11.18 His left ear was almost completely burned off. This was probably the exit site.
Gunshot Wound Leg
figure 11.20 High voltage electrocutions can cause significant injuries. This foot was burned off when a person stepped on a high voltage wire.
Gunshot Wound
figure 11.22 Many people who die of overdoses do so in squalid living conditions. See next photo.
Gunshot Wound Chest
figure 11.19 Direct damage of the heart from burning through the chest wall.
Gunshot The Mouth
figure 11.21 Drug Abuse. Froth in the nose and mouth is a sign of overdose. However, froth may also occur in drowning victims.
Pictures Gunshot Wounds The Chest
figure 11.23 Examination of the scene usually reveals evidence of drug abuse.
Amputation Gunshot Wound
figure 11.25 Hemorrhages in the arms are the most common signs of needle sticks. Of course, this may have been caused during the resuscitation attempt.
Rectum ScarringGunshot Wounds The Stomach
figure 11.24 Drugs can be found in the most unlikely spots. Pills and a syringe were discovered in the bandages of this prisoner's amputation site. Drugs can also be found in the stomach and rectum of carriers (mules).

figure 11.26 A needle puncture with surrounding scarring of the skin.

figure 11.26 A needle puncture with surrounding scarring of the skin.

Gross Puncture Wounds
figure 11.28 Incisions into the arm by a pathologist to look for damaged blood vessels. These veins are normal.


11.27 An area of old (inactive) needle activity in the arm.

Pictures Herion Addicts Wounds
figure 11.29 Hemorrhage in the soft tissues of the arm from a needle puncture.
Pictures Gun Shot Wounds
figure 11.30 Multiple areas of hemorrhage on the arm from recent I.V. use by an addict.
Hypothermia Autopsy Stomach
figure 11.31 This decomposed body was discovered under a bridge. The cause of death could not be determined by gross examination at the autopsy. See next photo.
Drug Abuser Arms Cysts
figure 11.32 The brain was decomposed; however, a toxicological photo revealed the presence of an inordinate amount of amitriptyline.
Autopsy Gunshot Wounds
figure 11.33 This lung from an intravenous drug abuser was remarkably heavy and contained thousands of granulomas — the body's reaction from the filler material in the drugs.
Stomach Aneurysm
figure 11.34 This stomach contains over 16-20 ounces of charcoal, given as an antidote for drug overdose. Unfortunately, the person died of an unrelated ruptured cerebral aneurysm.
Hypothermia Pictures People
figure 11.36 Hypothermia. People caught out in the cold can die. They usually are incapacitated in some fashion (drugs, disease, or trauma) that renders them unconscious. See next photo.
Traumatic Gunshot Wounds

figure 11.37 Autopsy findings in hypothermic cases may be unremarkable or there may be signs of the underlying disease or trauma. Some individuals have areas of bleeding in the stomach lining. Occasionally, individuals will remove their clothing while they are dying of the cold (paradoxical undressing).

figure 11.37 Autopsy findings in hypothermic cases may be unremarkable or there may be signs of the underlying disease or trauma. Some individuals have areas of bleeding in the stomach lining. Occasionally, individuals will remove their clothing while they are dying of the cold (paradoxical undressing).

Gunshot Wounds
figure 11.35 A person dying of hyperthemia may have no findings other than an unusually quick onset of decomposition. The scene investigation is vitally important. Death due to hyperthermia may be associated with a genetic defect (malignant hyperthemia) and drugs.
Gunshot Wounds Pictures
figure 11.38 Frostbite of the toes is only seen in people who have survived for a period of time after the incident. This should not be seen in people who died suddenly from hypothermia.

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  • Leila Korjus
    How do you treat herion wounds?
    3 years ago

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