Document Detail

Inhalant deaths in South Australia: a 20-year retrospective autopsy study.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18043019     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
A 20-year retrospective study of inhalant deaths in South Australia, autopsied at Forensic Science SA, was undertaken from January 1983 to December 2002. Thirty-nine cases were identified from an autopsy pool of 18,880 cases, with a male to female ratio of 12:1. Sixty-four percent of the victims (N = 25) died during voluntary inhalation of volatile substances and 28% (N = 11) committed suicide utilizing a volatile substance or gas. The remaining 3 cases involved a workplace accident (N = 1) and 2 cases of autoerotic death where inhalants were being used to augment solitary sexual activity. The mean age of the 28 victims of accidental inhalant death of 21 years (range, 13-45 years) was considerably less than that of the 11 suicide victims of 31.5 years (range, 17-48 years). No homicides were found. Approximately one quarter of the victims were Aboriginal (N = 11), 10 of whom had died as a result of gasoline inhalation ("petrol sniffing"). Other common substances of abuse were aliphatic hydrocarbons such as butane. The study has shown that those most at risk for accidental or suicidal inhalant deaths were young males, with 92% of victims overall being male, and with 77% of victims being under 31 years of age. Gasoline inhalation remains a significant problem in Aboriginal communities in South Australia.
Regula Wick; John D Gilbert; Peter Felgate; Roger W Byard
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The American journal of forensic medicine and pathology     Volume:  28     ISSN:  1533-404X     ISO Abbreviation:  Am J Forensic Med Pathol     Publication Date:  2007 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-11-28     Completed Date:  2008-01-07     Revised Date:  2011-02-02    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8108948     Medline TA:  Am J Forensic Med Pathol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  319-22     Citation Subset:  IM    
Forensic Science SA, Adelaide, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Administration, Inhalation
Age Distribution
Anoxia / epidemiology*,  ethnology,  etiology,  pathology
Forensic Pathology
Gasoline / poisoning
Medical Records
Middle Aged
Population Groups
Retrospective Studies
South Australia / epidemiology
Reg. No./Substance:

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

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