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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

From bees to bears to bulls: Animal-caused fatalities in New Mexico from 1993-2004

Sarah L. Lathrop, DVM, PhD, Office of the Medical Investigator/Dept. of Pathology, University of New Mexico, MSC11 6030, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, 505-272-6924, slathrop@salud.unm.edu

To better understand animal-related deaths, I searched the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator database, abstracting demographics and information on circumstances, survival interval, and toxicology. Between 1993 and 2004 63 deaths caused by animals were investigated. The majority of decedents were male (73%) and non-Hispanic white (52%). Decedents ranged in age from two to 93 years, with a median of 48 years. All deaths were accidental, and the most common causes of death were multiple injuries (41%) and head and neck injuries (33%). Two decedents were found to have illicit drugs present, and eight (13%) were legally intoxicated at the time of their death. Horses were the most commonly implicated animals, with 43 (68%) deaths due to a person being thrown from, crushed, dragged, or kicked by a horse. Cattle caused nine deaths. Three mauling deaths were by dogs, and one by a bear. Three deaths resulted from bee stings, one from a spider bite, and one from a rattlesnake bite. Eleven deaths were work-related and included deaths of jockeys, ranch workers and rodeo riders. The majority of deaths (65%) occurred in remote locations, delaying treatment, although most people (60%) died immediately. Survival intervals ranged from one day to 33 years. While both animal and human behavior can be difficult to predict, a review of animal-caused fatalities revealed that in many cases, deaths could have been prevented by either protective gear or alterations in human behavior.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Agricultural Work Safety,

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Farm and Animal Worker Health

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA