Fulton County Medical Examiners Office

Atlanta, GA, United States

Fulton County Medical Examiners Office

Atlanta, GA, United States
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Fajardo G.C.,Fulton County Medical Examiners Office
American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology | Year: 2010

The primary purpose of this study was to present the epidemiologic review of homicide deaths certified by the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office from January 1, 1996 through December 31, 2005 in children younger than 5 years. The secondary purpose of this study was to determine if the observed cases of homicide deaths among children younger than 5 years in Fulton County are significantly greater than expected when compared with those in the State of Georgia. For purposes of this study, only homicide deaths of Fulton County residents were included. The authors reviewed all homicide cases in children younger than 5 years: infancy (<1 year) and early childhood (1-4 years). χ values were calculated using Epi Info (version 3.4.1; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Ga) to determine differences in homicide among age group, race, and sex variables. In addition, a χ test at the α level of 0.05 was done to determine if the observed cases of homicide deaths among children younger than 5 years in Fulton County were significantly greater than expected when compared with those in the State of Georgia. There were 49 homicide cases in children younger than 5 years identified over this 10-year period. The yearly distribution of these 49 homicide deaths ranged from 1 death in 2003 to 9 deaths in 2004. Most of the patients were male (n = 29, 59.2%) and black (n = 44, 89.8%). Between infancy and early childhood cases, homicide victims were nearly equally divided between the 2 groups. However, χ values showed that decedents younger than 5 years are more likely to have died of homicide compared with decedents 5 years or older (odds ratio [OR], 1.74; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.29-2.35). Black decedents younger than 5 years are more likely to have died of homicide compared with other races (OR, 3.21; 95% CI, 1.21-9.28). Male and female decedents are equally at risk to have died of homicide (OR, 1.14; 95% CI, 0.61-2.11). The authors also determined that the total homicide risk for children younger than 5 years in Fulton County during the years 1996 to 2005, at the α level of 0.05, is 1.8 relative to the state. Brain injury was the primary cause of death in most cases (n = 23, 46.9%). Although this study was unable to collect information on the victim's suspect/offender characteristics, it was noted that only 37% of the cases (n = 18) went to trial. Most homicide investigations were under the Atlanta police jurisdiction (n = 28, 57.1%). Results from this study may assist local and state government officials in recognizing the epidemiologic characteristics of children at risk to help them allocate limited resources efficiently and implement preventive measures to at-risk populations effectively. Copyright © 2010 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Schier J.G.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Heninger M.,Fulton County Medical Examiners Office | Wolkin A.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Kieszak S.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Analytical Toxicology | Year: 2010

This study's goal was to determine cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), total mercury (THg), and inorganic mercury (IHg) levels in human cadavers to compare measured levels with established reference ranges for living persons and to determine whether blood levels varied with time from death to sample collection or by body collection site. Subjects (n = 66) recruited from the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office in Atlanta, GA, were 20 years of age or older, had no penetrating trauma, no obvious source of environmental contamination of the vasculature, and had whole blood accessible from the femoral (F) site, the cardiac © site, or both. Geometric mean results were as follows: 2.59 μg/L F-Cd; 11.81 μg/L C-Cd; 1.03 μg/L F-THg; 2.01 μg/L C-THg; 0.29 μg/L F-IHg; 0.49 μg/L C-IHg; 1.78 μg/dL F-Pb; and 1.87 μg/dL C-Pb. Both F- and C-Cd levels as well as C-THg levels were significantly higher than reference values among living persons (C- and F-Cd, p < 0.0001 and C-THg, p = 0.0001, respectively). Based on regression modeling, as the postmortem interval increased, blood Cd levels increased (p < 0.006). Postmortem blood Cd concentrations were elevated compared to population values and varied with respect to sampling location and postmortem interval.


Batalis N.I.,Medical University of South Carolina | Marcus B.J.,Professional Pathology Services | Papadea C.N.,Medical University of South Carolina | Collins K.A.,Fulton County Medical Examiners Office
Journal of Forensic Sciences | Year: 2010

Sudden cardiac deaths because of acute myocardial infarction (MI) constitute a significant percentage of the caseload for death investigators, coroners, and forensic pathologists. Clinicians use cardiac markers, highly sensitive and specific for myocardial damage, to screen living patients for acute MI; however, to this point, the utility of these markers in the autopsy setting has not been fully established. The current study included 10 decedents, five who died of acute MI, and five subjects who died of noncardiac disease. Samples of pericardial fluid and blood from multiple sites were tested for creatine kinase, creatinine kinase MB, and troponin-I. Three main conclusions were drawn: the levels of cardiac markers from all patients are significantly higher than the reference range for living patients, there are significant differences in cardiac marker levels between samples from different anatomic locations, and only three cardiac marker/anatomic site combinations were significantly different between the control and study groups. © 2010 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.


Hughes R.L.,San Antonio Military Medical Center | Collins K.A.,Fulton County Medical Examiners Office | Sullivan K.E.,Fulton County Medical Examiners Office
American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology | Year: 2013

May-Thurner syndrome results from long-standing compression of the left common iliac vein (LCIV) and is characterized by the formation of intraluminal spurs leading to obstruction of blood flow and deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Increased intraluminal pressures may occur as a consequence of venous obstruction, which when coupled with other factors thought to further weaken venous wall integrity (ie, inflammation or hormonal imbalances) may produce spontaneous (nontraumatic) and potential lethal venous rupture.We report a case of DVT in a woman with previously undiagnosed May-Thurner syndrome and heterozygosity for factor V Leiden mutation on exogenous hormone therapy, with subsequent spontaneous rupture of the LCIV leading to fatal hemoperitoneum. Autopsy revealed fibrous obliteration of the junction between the LCIV and inferior vena cava with associated DVT, transmural venous rupture, and thrombophlebitis. Copyright © 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Heninger M.,Fulton County Medical Examiners Office | Collins K.A.,Fulton County Medical Examiners Office
Journal of Forensic Sciences | Year: 2013

Methamphetamine is a synthetic stimulant that can adversely affect the central nervous system and the immune system. Through various mechanisms, methamphetamine is toxic to neurons, endothelial cells, lymphocytes, granulocytes, and macrophages resulting in systemic damage. Reported is the sudden demise of an otherwise healthy 31-year-old woman with a history of stimulant abuse. At autopsy, acute bacterial meningitis was identified. Microbiology cultures grew a single isolate of Streptococcus pneumoniae. Toxicology was positive for amphetamine (0.13 mg/L) and methamphetamine (0.8 mg/L). The cause of death was classified as acute bacterial meningitis with methamphetamine use. Either the acute bacterial meningitis or the methamphetamine toxicity would have been sufficient to result in death; however, the concurrent pathophysiology of the two entities must be understood. A review of the current literature assesses the mechanisms of injury attributed to acute and chronic methamphetamine use, bacterial meningitis, and the synergy between the two. © 2013 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.


PubMed | Fulton County Medical Examiners Office
Type: Case Reports | Journal: Journal of forensic sciences | Year: 2013

Methamphetamine is a synthetic stimulant that can adversely affect the central nervous system and the immune system. Through various mechanisms, methamphetamine is toxic to neurons, endothelial cells, lymphocytes, granulocytes, and macrophages resulting in systemic damage. Reported is the sudden demise of an otherwise healthy 31-year-old woman with a history of stimulant abuse. At autopsy, acute bacterial meningitis was identified. Microbiology cultures grew a single isolate of Streptococcus pneumoniae. Toxicology was positive for amphetamine (0.13 mg/L) and methamphetamine (0.8 mg/L). The cause of death was classified as acute bacterial meningitis with methamphetamine use. Either the acute bacterial meningitis or the methamphetamine toxicity would have been sufficient to result in death; however, the concurrent pathophysiology of the two entities must be understood. A review of the current literature assesses the mechanisms of injury attributed to acute and chronic methamphetamine use, bacterial meningitis, and the synergy between the two.

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