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Carboxyhemoglobin concentrations in victims burned to death


, : Carboxyhemoglobin concentrations in victims burned to death. Research & Practice in Forensic Medicine 33: 137-140

From May 1979 to January 1990, 47 charred bodies (house fires, 37 cases; self-burning, 4 cases; traffic accident, 4 cases; murder, 1 case) were autopsied in our department. CO-Hb concentrations of blood ranged from 0 to 95.7%. CO-Hb was not detected in 4 cases burned after death in traffic accident. CO-Hb concentrations in 23 victims due to house fires showed more than 50%. In about 70% of victims by house fires, CO-Hb concentrations exceeded 40%, and carbon particles were recognized in the peripheries of intrapulmonary bronchi. No difference in CO-Hb concentrations between drunk and non-drunk victims was recognized. In comparison of blood CO-Hb concentration between left and right ventricles of the heart, the values in the left ventricle were almost the same as or fairly higher than those in the right ventricle. These data were presumed to be due to different processes of death by fire.

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