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NCJ Number: 162864 Find in a Library
Title: Prevention of Occupational Cyanide Exposure in Autopsy Prosectors
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:41  Issue:1  Dated:(January 1996)  Pages:146-147
Author(s): K B Nolte; A Dasgupta
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 2
Type: Report (Technical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes precautions to prevent occupational cyanide exposure in autopsies where cyanide is suspected as a possible cause of death.
Abstract: Autopsy prosectors examining individuals with cyanide poisoning are at risk for occupational cyanide exposure. No protective autopsy precautions to mitigate this risk have been published. This article reports an autopsy on an individual with cyanide poisoning where the procedure was performed in a negatively pressured isolation room and the stomach was opened under a biosafety cabinet hood. Although cyanide may vaporize from autopsy tissues, the major risk to autopsy prosectors is when the stomach is opened. Ingested cyanide salts are found in the stomach in the highest concentration, and in the acid gastric environment hydrocyanic gas is generated. This compound is extremely volatile and prosectors working outside a fume hood or a biosafety cabinet risk inhaling potentially toxic concentrations. The authors recommend that autopsies on cyanide poisoning victims be performed in negatively pressured isolation rooms, the stomach be opened under a hood, and laboratory workers handling toxicology specimens potentially containing cyanide use gloves, face and eye protection, and laminar-flow fume hoods. References
Main Term(s): Science and Technology
Index Term(s): Autopsy; Death investigations; Forensic medicine; Forensic pathology; Forensic sciences; Hazardous substances or materials; Occupational safety and health; Poisons and poison analysis; Toxic reactions
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