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NCJ Number: 201566 Find in a Library
Title: Analytical Aspects of Volatile Substance Abuse (VSA)
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:48  Issue:4  Dated:July 2003  Pages:880-882
Author(s): Jean-Michel Gaulier Ph.D.; Veronique Tonnay Pharm; Thierry Faict M.D.; Herve Sayer Ph.D.; Pierre Marquet M.D.; Gerard Lachatre Ph.D.
Date Published: July 2003
Page Count: 3
Type: Case Study
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes difficulties in toxicological investigations of volatile substance abuse (VSA).
Abstract: The authors present a case study of a 17-year old male found dead with a loose plastic bag over his head. Suicide and homicide were ruled out and several chemical substances were found in his belongings. An autopsy was performed 2 days later and showed serious pulmonary lesions and hemorrhagic digestive ulcerations. A large screening of drugs and toxic compounds was carried out on autopsy samples. A headspace technique was used to screen for volatile substances and for residue of volatile substances on the surface of the plastic bag and in the chemicals found at the scene. Only one positive result was found in the autopsy samples: the presence of several alkanes was discovered in the gastric contents. The fatality was attributed to volatile substance abuse with a gasoline-based stain remover associated with a hypoxia recreation practice using a plastic bag. Toxicological analysis was challenged due to issues with sample collection and preservation; this is further complicated by the increasingly diverse practices due to the availability of low-cost, legal chemicals. References
Main Term(s): Forensic pathology
Index Term(s): Chemical irritants; Hazardous substances or materials
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