Kenneka Jenkins Death in Rosemont Hotel Freezer Ruled Accidental Hypothermia; Positive Toxicology for Alcohol and Topiramate

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DRUG INTERACTION OF TOPIRAMATE (ALSO KNOWN AS TOPAMAX®) WITH ALCOHOL CAN CAUSE EXCESSIVE SLEEPINESS AND CONFUSION

The Cook County Medical Examiner has ruled the death of 19-year-old Kenneka Jenkins an accident caused by hypothermia compounded by intoxication after she entered a walk-in freezer in a Rosemont hotel on September 10, 2017, according to a statement released Friday. Jenkins was found frozen solid in the freezer.

The medical examiner reported that intoxication caused by alcohol and topiramate — a medication prescribed for epilepsy and migraines — were “significant contributing factors” in Kenneka’s death. Kenneka Jenkins’ blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was 0.112 — an amount beyond the 0.08 BAC legal limit allowable for driving in Illinois. The medical examiner said the amount of topiramate in her system was within prescription levels. According to the medical examiner, Jenkins did not have a prescription for topiramate.

Adverse effects of topiramate (at prescribed doses) include muscular weakness, gait disturbance, confusional state, disorientation, memory impairment, disturbance in attention, abnormal coordination, hypoaesthesia (reduced sense of touch or partial loss of sensitivity to sensory stimuli), cognitive disorder, visual disturbance and blurred vision. All are conditions, which could logically have contributed to Jenkin’s inability to care for herself in removing herself safely from the hotel freezer.

Topiramate (also known as TOPAMAX®) interacts negatively with alcohol — causing excessive sleep, confusion and difficulty with memory and speech.

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Drugs.com Topiramate or Topamax

OFFICIAL TOPAMAX — topamax.com

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 NWS FORECAST 4:44 PM  

This Afternoon: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Patchy fog. High near 69. Southeast wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Tonight: Showers and thunderstorms before 2am, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm between 2am and 4am, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 4am. Patchy fog. Low around 66. South wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Saturday: A chance of showers, then showers and possibly a thunderstorm after 1pm. High near 78. Breezy, with a south southwest wind 15 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Saturday Night: A 50 percent chance of showers before 1am. Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly clear, with a low around 55. West southwest wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.

Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 77. South wind 5 to 10 mph.

Sunday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 56.

Columbus Day: Sunny, with a high near 75.

Monday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 55.

Tuesday: A slight chance of showers before 1pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 67.

Tuesday Night: A chance of showers after 1am. Partly cloudy, with a low around 51.

Wednesday: A slight chance of showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 66.

Wednesday Night: A slight chance of showers. Partly cloudy, with a low around 53.

Thursday: A slight chance of showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 67.

Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 52.

Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 70.

Amf Ohare IL
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