Document Detail

The prevalence of drugs in carbon monoxide-related deaths: a retrospective study, 2000-2003.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17721177     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The objective of this study was to review demographic characteristics and drugs detected in carbon monoxide (CO)-related deaths from cases received by the Office of the Cuyahoga County Coroner in Cleveland, Ohio, from 2000-2003. Postmortem reports were reviewed, and decedents for which CO was listed as the cause of death were included. The data were compiled into 3 groups according to the official coroner's verdict as to the manner of death: accident, suicide, and homicide. Included in this study were 122 cases: 84 (69%) accidental, 31 (25%) suicide, and 7 (6%) homicide. Accident decedents were typically white males, aged 40-59 years, residing in Cleveland. Suicide decedents were also middle-aged, white males but residing in the suburbs. Homicide decedents under the age of 6 were characteristically black (N=2), while decedents over the age of 39 were predominately white (N=3). Carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) levels in suicide cases were higher than concentrations measured in accidental deaths. The highest percentage of suicide decedents (36%) had a COHb level>70% saturation, accident decedents (36%) between 50% and 69% saturation, and homicide decedents (71%) below 50% saturation. Ethanol (N=34) was detected in 28% of deaths, and therapeutic and/or abused drugs (N=50) were detected in 41% of deaths. Illicit drugs were detected in 11% of cases (cocaine/metabolites; THC/metabolites), other drug positives were therapeutic medications. The most common drugs detected were antidepressants and antihistamines in suicides and pain medications and antihistamines in accidents.
Lisa M Przepyszny; Amanda J Jenkins
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The American journal of forensic medicine and pathology     Volume:  28     ISSN:  0195-7910     ISO Abbreviation:  Am J Forensic Med Pathol     Publication Date:  2007 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-08-27     Completed Date:  2007-12-07     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:  242-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Office of the Cuyahoga County Coroner, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Accidents / mortality
African Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
Age Distribution
Aged, 80 and over
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning / mortality*
Carboxyhemoglobin / analysis
Child, Preschool
European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
Forensic Toxicology
Homicide / statistics & numerical data
Middle Aged
Ohio / epidemiology
Pharmaceutical Preparations / analysis*
Retrospective Studies
Sex Distribution
Street Drugs / analysis*
Substance Abuse Detection / statistics & numerical data
Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
Suicide / statistics & numerical data
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Pharmaceutical Preparations; 0/Street Drugs; 9061-29-4/Carboxyhemoglobin

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

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