Fatal Intoxications in the North of Portugal: 12 Years of Retrospective Analysis

Author(s): Emanuele A. Alves, Pedro Brandao, Teresa Magalhaes, Felix Carvalho, Ricardo J. Dinis-Oliveira.

Journal Name: Current Drug Safety

Volume 12 , Issue 1 , 2017

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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.

Keywords: Alcohol, fatal intoxications, forensic autopsy, medicines, xenobiotics.

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Article Details

Year: 2017
Page: [39 - 45]
Pages: 7
DOI: 10.2174/1574886311666160724212407
Price: $65

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