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
Crawford R, Campbell DGD, Ross J. Carbon monoxide poisoning in the home: recognition and treatment. BMJ. 1990;301:977-9.
Busuttil A, Obafunwa JO, Ahmed A. Suicidal inhalation of vehicular exhaust in the Lothian and Borders region of Scotland. Hum exp toxicol. 1994;13:545-50.
Proceedings Satellite Meeting IUTOX VIIIth Internationazl Congress of Toxicology. “Carbon monoxide: the unnoticed poison of the 21st Century” 1998. Université de Bourgogne, France.
Prockop LD, Chichkova RI. Carbon monoxide intoxication: an updated review. Journal of the neurological sciences. 2007;262(1):122-30.
Nnoli MA. Family death-carbon monoxide poisoning from Generator exhaust. J Medicine in the Tropics. 2009;11(1):123-8.
Abelsohn A, Sanborn MD, Jessiman BJ, Weir E. Identifying and managing adverse environmental health effects: 6. Carbon monoxide poisoning. CMAJ 2002;166(13):1685–90.
Wheeler R, Covington MA. Koponen AB, Meehan PJ, Lance-Parker SE, Powell K. Carbon monoxide poisoning deaths associated with camping—Georgia. JAMA 1999;282:13-26.
VeveIstad M, Morild I. Lethal methaemoglobinaemia and automobile exhaust inhalation. Forensic Sci int. 2009;187(1-3):l-5.
Zumwalt RE, Wake MC, Hoffman R. Deaths from motor vehicle related unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning- Colorado 1980-1995 and United States, 1979-1992. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1996;45:1029-32.
Susan P, Baker MPH, Russel S Fisher, William C Masemore and Irvin M Sopher. Fatal Unintentional Carbon Monoxide poisoning in Motor Vehicles. AJPH. 1972;62(11):1463-7.
Girman JR, Chang Y, Hayward SB, Liu K. “Causes of Unintentional Deaths from Carbon Monoxide Poisonings in California”; Final Report; California Indoor Air Quality Program, California Department of Health Services: Berkeley, CA, undated; West. J. Med. 1998;168:158-65.
Liu KS. California Indoor Air Quality Program, California Department of Health Services, personal communication, 1997.
Nnoli M, Lebgbosi N, Chukwuonye I, Nwabuko O. Toxicological Investigation of Acute Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Four Occupants of a Fuming Sport Utility Vehicle. Iranian Journal of Toxicology. 2014;7(23):973-6.
Griffin M, Ward M, Terrell A, Stewart D. Diesel fumes do kill: a case of fatal carbon monoxide poisoning directly attributed to diesel fuel exhaust with a 10-year retrospective case and literature review. Journal of Forensic Sci. 2008;53(5):1206-11.
- Abstract Viewed: 726 times
- PDF Downloaded: 2062 times