Helium poisoning: new procedure for sampling and analysis.

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Version: Author's accepted manuscript
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Serval ID
serval:BIB_9E2B34BCBC2F
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
Helium poisoning: new procedure for sampling and analysis.
Journal
International journal of legal medicine
Author(s)
Varlet V., Iwersen-Bergmann S., Alexandre M., Cordes O., Wunder C., Holz F., Andresen-Streichert H., Bevalot F., Dumestre-Toulet V., Malbranque S., Fracasso T., Grabherr S.
ISSN
1437-1596 (Electronic)
ISSN-L
0937-9827
Publication state
Published
Issued date
11/2019
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
133
Number
6
Pages
1809-1818
Language
english
Notes
Publication types: Journal Article
Publication Status: ppublish
Abstract
An increasing number of suicidal asphyxiation with a plastic bag with inert gases, and in particular helium (He), have been reported from numerous countries over the last decade. These cases are differently managed and lead to different and variable interpretations. Based on the 12 last cases analysed in the laboratory and on the review of the most recent literature about this topic, updated autopsy guidelines for sampling have been proposed regarding to the samples choice and analytical challenges required by the gaseous state of this substance. Biological samples from airways (lungs lobe) followed by brain and cardiac blood are the best matrices to take during the autopsy to diagnose He exposure. Gaseous samples from trachea, pulmonary bronchi, gastric and cardiac areas are also recommended as alternative samples. The anatomical site of sampling must be carefully detailed, and to this end, forensic imaging constitutes a beneficial tool. Even if He detection is sufficient to conclude to He exposure, He concentrations in samples may be related to He exposure conditions (duration, breathing rate, etc.). A quantification in biological samples could be helpful to document more precisely the case. He concentrations in gaseous samples are reported up to 6.0 μmol/mL (tracheal gas), 2.4 μmol/mL (pulmonary gas), 0.64 μmol/mL (cardiac gas) and 12 μmol/mL (gastric gas). He concentrations in solid/liquid samples are reported up to 28 μmol/g (lungs) and 0.03 μmol/g (cardiac blood). The other matrices usually sampled during autopsy such as urine, peripheral blood, liver, fat matter and kidney appear as not relevant.
Keywords
Asphyxia, Brain Chemistry, Bronchi/chemistry, Forensic Toxicology/methods, Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry, Heart Ventricles/chemistry, Helium/analysis, Helium/poisoning, Humans, Inhalant Abuse, Lung/chemistry, Poisoning/diagnosis, Specimen Handling, Stomach/chemistry, Suicide, Trachea/chemistry, GC-MS, Helium, Suffocation
Pubmed
Web of science
Create date
25/02/2019 12:23
Last modification date
17/09/2020 5:24
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