<- Home <- Arhive <- Vol. 25, Issue 4, December 2017

Rom J Leg Med25(4)379-383(2017)
© Romanian Society of Legal Medicine

Sudden death in relation to inhaling lighter fluid in adolescents

T. Bork, O. Celbis, S. Petekkaya, B. S. Oner, E. Samdancı

Abstract: Background. Sudden death as a consequence of lighter fluid abuse, though rare, happens during the adolescence period. The purpose of this study is to discuss the findings related to the deaths of young adults who died due to inhalation of lighter fluid.
Material and Methods. 4 cases who died due to lighter fluid inhalation are included in the study. The autopsy as well as toxicological and pathological procedures of the cases are conducted in Malatya Council of Forensic Sciences. The age, sex, height, weight, clinical findings before death, place of death, autopsy and histopathology findings are assessed in comparison to the toxicological results.
Findings. All the cases in the study are male. The ages are 15.75±1.25, heights are 167.75±12.68 cm and weights are 58.50±8.69 kg. In blood analyses, n-butane and isobutane are found in all of them while 3 of them has propane. Besides, 2 of the cases had Tetrahidrocannabinol in their blood and urine. Three of the deaths happened in the hospital while 1 of them was in the crime scene. In the autopsy of the cases, macroscopically, intensive point bleedings are detected while alveolar fresh bleeding centers are found in the histopathology.
Conclusion. Autopsy and histopathologic findings are non-specific and the decision shall be given by assessing toxicological findings, crime scene examination and witness statements. In suspicious adolescent death, the detection of propane, isobutane and n-butane in toxicological examination is the only finding that makes us think of the presence of lighter fluid inhalation.
Keywords: forensic toxicology, butane, propane, isobutane, sudden death.

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