Document Detail

Heroin body packing: three fatal cases of intestinal perforation.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10641918     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Death from heroin body packing has been well described in the forensic literature. Most fatalities are due to drug leakage and consequent acute heroin toxicity. Recently, drug traffickers have become more sophisticated in their packaging, and the risk of rupture of drug packets is more remote. Though intestinal obstruction is a recognized risk of body packing, rarely has this resulted in death. We describe four cases of heroin body packing presenting to the Regional Medical Examiner Office in New Jersey. Death in three of these cases was due to intestinal obstruction, with resultant intestinal rupture and peritonitis. Toxicologic evaluation in these three cases was negative for opiates or other drugs of abuse. In one case, death was due to acute heroin toxicity, validated by toxicologic analysis. We briefly discuss the differing drug packaging found in these four cases and the ramifications of packaging as it relates to intestinal obstruction.
K D Hutchins; P J Pierre-Louis; L Zaretski; A W Williams; R L Lin; G A Natarajan
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Case Reports; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of forensic sciences     Volume:  45     ISSN:  0022-1198     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Forensic Sci.     Publication Date:  2000 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2000-02-25     Completed Date:  2000-02-25     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0375370     Medline TA:  J Forensic Sci     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  42-7     Citation Subset:  IM    
Regional Medical Examiner Office, Edwin H. Albano Institute of Forensic Sciences, Newark, NJ 07103, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Drug Packaging
Fatal Outcome
Intestinal Obstruction / etiology
Intestinal Perforation / etiology*
Middle Aged
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Narcotics; 561-27-3/Heroin; 9005-81-6/Cellophane

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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