Fatal hyperthermia in hot baths in individuals with multiple sclerosis

R. E. Kohlmeier, V. J.M. DiMaio, K. Kagan-Hallet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The authors report the case of a 47-year-old black man with a history of multiple sclerosis who was found dead in a bathtub, head above water, with a body temperature of 105.7 F. Results of a complete autopsy and toxicologic screen were negative. Individuals with multiple sclerosis, if immersed in hot water, develop motor weakness, which may be so severe as to prevent them from getting out of the water, whether they be in a bathtub or whirlpool bath. In this case, the individual was trapped in a bathtub in which there was a continuous flow of hot water. This overwhelmed an already impaired thermoregulatory mechanism, causing hyperthermia and death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-203
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000


  • Hot bath
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Thermoregulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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