The 490 deaths investigated last year by the York County Coroner's Office include a toddler who inhaled manure fumes, a man whose untreated dog bite led to his death, an elderly woman who bled to death from a cut, and four weather-related deaths.
Those incidents are among the 52 "home/play" deaths in York County during 2011, York County Coroner Barry Bloss said. His office recently released its year-end report.
Seventy-five percent of last year's home/play victims died from falls, or from complications caused by falls, according to the coroner's office. The vast majority of them were elderly people.
Accidental falls have historically comprised the bulk of home/play deaths in York County and remain an ongoing concern for Bloss.
Unusual cases: But each year the category includes unusual incidents, including the Sept. 5 death of 2-year-old Leroy Esh.
The Amish toddler died from inhaling toxic fumes from a manure pit at his home on Frosty Hill Road in Lower Chanceford Township.
"This is a very rare incident," Bloss said. "Usually you see very few child deaths from farming accidents."
The toddler was in the barn when manure fumes somehow seeped inside, Bloss said.
"We were very fortunate we didn't have more victims," he said.
When investigators tried to recreate the incident, several people and farm animals were affected by the fumes, Deputy Coroner Steve Cosey said.
Apparent bite: York City resident Keith Trout died Nov. 23 of complications from an apparent dog bite.
Trout, 60, of McKenzie Street, had what appeared to be a bite wound on the chest. He owned dogs, the coroner's office said.
"All indications are ... it was a dog bite," Chief Deputy Coroner Claude Stabley said, but that couldn't be confirmed.
"Mr. Trout never sought any medical attention for the wound and he never told anybody what happened," Stabley said. Eventually, the bite became infected and he died of sepsis.
Sepsis occurs when chemicals released into the bloodstream to fight infection cause organ failure, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Blood loss: Margaret Schrum, 95, of East Forrest Avenue in Shrewsbury, bled to death in her home Aug. 13. She accidentally cut her leg and didn't seek medical treatment, according to Stabley. She was taking prescribed blood thinners which kept her wound from clotting, he said.
"Her family said she would ... always bump her leg on an old sofa," he said. "This particular day she bumped her leg where she probably had a weakened (blood) vessel. The evidence is that she tried to stop the bleeding herself and couldn't do so."
Anyone who loses a certain amount of blood will become disoriented, Stabley said.
"But at that age, they're more susceptible to that disorientation," he said.
Heat wave: Two men died of hyperthermia July 22 during a heat wave.
Lewis Daughenbaugh, 94, of Carlisle Road in Carroll Township, had air conditioning in his home, but it wasn't working because of a tripped circuit breaker.
Barry Sanders, 63, of Roosevelt Avenue in York City, lived in a third-floor apartment with no ventilation or air conditioning, according to the coroner's office, and the temperature inside his apartment was 110 degrees.
Bloss said while it's not unusual to have one or two people freeze to death each year in York County, deaths from heat are rare.
Freezing deaths: Two people died last year from hypothermia.
Laura Slothower, 92, of Big Creek Road in Dover Township, died Oct. 30 after falling while walking to her shed during a snowstorm. She was later found dead by a family member, the coroner's office said.
Charles Eckert Jr., 52, of York City, froze to death under the West Princess Street bridge on Feb. 10. Eckert was mentally disabled and was supposed to be supervised, according to state records.
Accidental falls: The home/play accidents that most concern Bloss are accidental falls, which usually involve the elderly.
In response, he and others started a countywide Fall Risk Task Force that focuses on educating the elderly and their families about reducing hazards in homes. The number of falls in 2011 decreased by about a third, compared to 2010, he said.
"Hopefully, our efforts are why we've seen the big decrease," he said.
-- Reach Elizabeth Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org, 505-5429 or twitter.com/ydcrimetime.