Document Detail

An unusual case of smothering secondary to ingesting raw pet cat.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20190629     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Smothering is defined as an obstruction of the air passages above the level of the epiglottis, including the nose, mouth, and pharynx. This is in contrast to choking, which is considered to be due to an obstruction of the air passages below the epiglottis. The manner of death in smothering can be homicidal, suicidal, or an accident. Accidental smothering is considered to be a rare event among middle-aged adults, yet many cases still occur. Presented here is the case of a 39-year-old woman with a history of bipolar disease who was found dead on her living room floor by her neighbors. Her hands were covered in scratches and her pet cat was found disemboweled in the kitchen with its tail hacked off. On autopsy her stomach was found to be full of cat intestines, adipose tissue, and strips of fur-covered skin. An intact left kidney and adipose tissue were found lodged in her throat just above her epiglottis. After a complete investigation, the cause of death was determined to be asphyxia by smothering due to animal tissue.
Margaret Redpath; Anny Sauvageau
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The American journal of forensic medicine and pathology     Volume:  32     ISSN:  1533-404X     ISO Abbreviation:  Am J Forensic Med Pathol     Publication Date:  2011 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-05-13     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8108948     Medline TA:  Am J Forensic Med Pathol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  190-2     Citation Subset:  IM    
From the *Laboratoire de sciences judiciaires et de medicine légale, 1701 Parthenais street, Montreal (Quebec), Canada; and †Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Edmonton (Alberta) Canada.
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