Medical examiner reports on county deaths

Number of cremations continue to increase

Milaca -Two hundred and two  people died in Mille Lacs County in 2016, according to the county’s medical examiner.
Dr. Quinn Strobl presented the annual death statistics report at the Feb. 7 meeting of the Mille Lacs County Board.
Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office, which contracts with Mille Lacs County to provide medical examiner services,  performed 22 autopsies in 2016. Strobl said for the first time in her experience, a family refused to permit an autopsy on a person. She worked with the family to find an acceptable alternative and ended up driving to a Mille Lacs funeral home to conduct some tests.
Of the county’s 202 deaths, the medical examiner declined jurisdiction in 165 of those cases. The remaining 37 were classified this way:
—13 people died in accidents that did not involve a motor vehicle.
—11 people died of natural causes.
— Six people killed themselves.
— Four people died in motor vehicle crashes.
— Two deaths were undetermined.
— One death was ruled a homicide.
The report states that 62 of the Mille Lacs County deaths in 2016 happened in a hospice setting. Strobl performed 21 complete autopsies during 2016 and visited 59 death scenes. There were 23 death cases involving toxicology and five that required histology. One death called for a neuropathology exam, and 11 cases involved imaging.
One person who died was a cornea donor and four who died donated tissue. Strobl said there has been a steady increase over the past few years in the number of cremations. The annual death report shows 155 cremations in 2016. Cremation in other years are as follows::
•2015 – 147 cremations.
•2014 – 136 cremations.
•2013 – 138 cremations.
•2012 – 118 cremations.
Strobl told commissioners that the increase in cremations was normal. She has seen increases in most counties.