<- Home <- Arhive <- Vol. 23, Issue 3, September 2015

Rom J Leg Med23(3)177-180(2015)
© Romanian Society of Legal Medicine

Mechanical asphyxia due to biological agents. Case report and literature review

D. P. Dumbravă, O. Chiroban, C. C. Radu

Abstract: A 54-year-old man, working as a shepherd, was found dead in a valley, at the bottom of a natural pit, by the family members. The pit had very steep walls, was 3,5 meters deep and had a diameter of about 10 meters. The investigators stated that most probably, some sheep fell into the pit, the shepherd lowered himself there in order to bring them out, but unfortunately the rest of the sheep followed him into the pit, thus collapsing over him and preventing him to get out. At the scene of investigation there were found 75 dead sheep, covering the dead body and surrounding him. A medico-legal autopsy was performed, followed by histological and forensic toxicology analysis. Autopsy revealed advanced putrefaction, a vital sternal fracture and generalized atherosclerosis. The toxicological exam showed an alcohol blood concentration of 2,80 g/l. Therefore, taking into account the onsite scene investigation, the autopsy findings and the ancillary examinations, the death was considered violent, produced by an accidental traumatic asphyxia due to biological agents (sheep), this being a unique case in the activity of the Department of Legal Medicine.
Keywords: thoracoabdominal asphyxia, biological agents, accidental death.

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