Article: article from journal or magazin.
Unconsciousness and sedation as precipitating factors of diabetic ketoacidosis.
Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
Publication types: Journal ArticlePublication Status: ppublish
The aim of this study was to identify medico-legal situations characterized by increased vitreous glucose concentrations, potentially lethal blood 3-hydroxybutyrate levels and conditions that could either incapacitate or lead to death on their own. The above was investigated in order to verify whether prolonged states of unconsciousness may play a role in precipitating diabetic ketoacidosis. Six groups of medico-legal situations (corresponding to 206 autopsy cases) were identified. Among these, three cases were characterized by pathologically increased vitreous glucose and blood 3-hydroxybutyrate levels. In one case diabetic ketoacidosis coexisted with underlying features that might have potentially incapacitated or lead to death on their own, whereas in two cases it corresponded with potentially lethal or lethal drug concentrations. The results of this study highlight the usefulness of systematically performing biochemistry in order to identify diabetic ketoacidosis-related deaths, even when autopsy and toxicology results provide apparently conclusive findings.
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