Accidental Death due to Carbon Monoxide: Case Report
International Journal of Medical Toxicology and Forensic Medicine,
Vol. 4 No. 4(Autumn) (2014),
5 December 2014
Background: Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas produced as a by-product of incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons. CO binds rapidly to Haemoglobin (Hb), leading to the formation of carboxyhemoglobin (COHb), so the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood will be decreased and causing tissue hypoxia.
Case Report: A 35-years-old male mechanic was found unconscious at automobile garage and he was dead after hospitalization on same day after one hour. On external examination, Rigor mortis had occurred all over the body. Cherry red postmortem lividity was present over back. Hypostasis, sub-scalpel tissue, muscles of chest and abdominal wall were cherry red in color suggestive of carbon monoxide toxicity. The chemical analysis report of blood and viscera confirmed toxicity due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Conclusion: Accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in vehicles can occur due to leaking exhausts and inadequate ventilation, but some cases in fatal concentration of CO was found even with garage door had opened or in the absence of defective exhaust systems. Each of the CO poisoning hazard scenarios reflects either product malfunction resulting in high CO emissions and/or some failure to adequately remove CO from the living or recreational environment. Use of catalytic converters in vehicles has reduced carbon monoxide emission considerably. The sudden death of a mechanic due to excessive inhalation of the carbon monoxide gas due to defective exhaust systems and poorly ventilated in automobile garage.
- Carbon Monoxide
How to Cite
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