Emanuele A. Alves, Pedro Brandao, Teresa Magalhaes, Felix Carvalho and Ricardo J. Dinis-Oliveira Pages 39 - 45 ( 7 )
Background: Fatal intoxications are a topic of great relevance in today’s society. They typically occur by accidental or voluntary ingestion, but its characterization by a forensic perspective was not fully explored.Objective: This study retrospectively reviews fatal intoxication cases autopsied at the northern forensic medicine services of Portugal, between 2001 and 2013. Method: For this purpose, we analyzed postmortem forensic medical reports with positive qualitative analysis for xenobiotics. Results: A total of 27,778 autopsy reports were analyzed, of which 1,269 cases fulfilled the selection criteria, representing 4.6% of total number of individuals autopsied during the period under analysis. Men were involved in most of the cases (73.8%) and most individuals were adults with ages between 36 and 65 years old (57.0%). The highest incidences were medicines (22.9%) and alcohol (15.8%), followed by their association. Cases of fatal intoxications involving opioids come on fifth place (5.8%) namely due to accidental overdoses. Moreover, intoxications appeared as the leading cause of death in reports concerning accidental etiology, with drugs and alcohol associations having a great expression. Conclusion: Due to morbidity and relevant number of fatal cases, risk prevention measures, such as public health policies should be implemented to reduce the number of intoxications.
Alcohol, fatal intoxications, forensic autopsy, medicines, xenobiotics.
Department of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Alameda Prof. Hernani Monteiro, 4200-319, Porto,, Department of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Alameda Prof. Hernani Monteiro, 4200-319, Porto