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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 141754 Find in a Library
Title: Fatality Due to Recreational Use of Chlorodifluoromethane and Chloropentafluoroethane
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:38  Issue:2  Dated:(March 1993)  Pages:477-483
Author(s): R L Fitzgerald; C E Fishel; L L E Bush
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 6
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A 22-year-old white man with a history of abusing freon died after ingesting an azeotropic mixture of chlorodifluoromethane and chloropentafluoroethane, a combination that had not previously been described in the forensic literature.
Abstract: The results of an analysis using mass selective detection employing capillary gas chromatography columns currently used in many toxicology laboratories are described. The postmortem toxicology report revealed blood concentrations of chlorodifluoromethane and chloropentafluoroethane of 71 mg/L and 0.30 mg/l, respectively. The concentrations of chlorodifluoromethane in the brain, liver, and lung were 2.8 mg/kg, 4.4 mg/kg, and 1.6 mg/kg, respectively. Concentrations of chloropentafluoroethane in the brain, liver, and lung were 0.8 mg/kg, 0.8 mg/kg, and 0.11 mg/kg, respectively. Evidence of caffeine and lidocaine, used in resuscitation attempts, was also found in the victim's blood. Chlorofluorocarbons are toxic to cardiac tissue, causing negative inotropic effects, disruptions of sinoatrial rhythm, atrioventricular conduction, and ventricular arrhythmias. The cause of death was defined as acute respiratory failure due to freon inhalation. 2 tables, 3 figures, and 14 references
Main Term(s): Drug effects; Intoxicant inhalation
Index Term(s): Autopsy
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