A fatal case of oxygen embolism in a hospital

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Etat: Public
Version: Final published version
ID Serval
serval:BIB_D2B362CD09FF
Type
Article: article d'un périodique ou d'un magazine.
Sous-type
Etude de cas (case report): rapporte une observation et la commente brièvement.
Collection
Publications
Titre
A fatal case of oxygen embolism in a hospital
Périodique
Forensic Sciences Research
Auteur(s)
Comment L., Varlet V., Ducrot K., Grabherr S.
ISSN
2096-1790
2471-1411
ISSN-L
2471-1411
Statut éditorial
Publié
Date de publication
03/04/2017
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
2
Numéro
2
Pages
100-106
Langue
anglais
Résumé
This case reports on a 68-year-old man who was found dead in hospital next to his bed. Before this, he had been treated with intravenous antibiotics for pneumonia. The body was found with a peripheral venous catheter connected to a nasal cannula delivering oxygen (O2) from the wall.
Extensive medico–legal examinations were performed, including post-mortem computed tomography (CT), complete conventional autopsy, histological and immunohistochemistry analysis, toxicological analysis and post-mortem chemistry. Additionally, CT-guided gas sampling was performed at multiple sites to collect samples for gas analysis.
During the external examination, massive subcutaneous emphysema was visible over the entire surface of the body. The CT scan revealed the presence of gas throughout the vascular system, and in the subcutaneous and muscular tissues. The autopsy confirmed the presence of lobar pneumonia and multiple gas bubbles in the vascular system.
The gas analysis results showed a subnormal concentration of oxygen, confirming the suspected pure O2 embolism. Moreover, the carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in the gas sample from the heart was elevated to a level similar to those found in scuba diving fatalities. This could come from degassing of dissolved CO2 that accumulated and was trapped in the cardiac cavity. Based on the results of the different exams performed, and especially the gas analysis results, it was concluded that the cause of death was O2 embolism.
Open Access
Oui
Création de la notice
14/11/2017 9:26
Dernière modification de la notice
20/08/2019 15:52
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