Time filter

Source Type

Garber M.A.,Engineering Systems Inc | Canfield D.V.,FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute | Lewis R.J.,FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute | Simmons S.D.,North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner | Radisch D.L.,North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology | Year: 2013

The pilot of a light aircraft that crashed after a loss of power was found to have ethanol in the vitreous and the blood, but almost none in the urine. The globes of the eyes were intact, and the body was refrigerated after recovery until the autopsy was performed the following morning. The pilot was described as a "nondrinker," and additional specialized toxicology testing results were inconsistent with ethanol ingestion. The pilot's body was extensively exposed to fuel during the prolonged extraction. Investigation determined that the aircraft had been fueled with gasoline that contained 10% ethanol. Although exposure to automotive fuel has not been previously described as a source of ethanol in postmortem specimens, it may represent a source for the ethanol detected during postmortem toxicology testing in this case, and this finding may be relevant to other cases with similar exposure. Copyright © 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Denoble P.J.,Divers Alert Network | Nelson C.L.,North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner | Ranapurwala S.I.,UNC | Caruso J.L.,Office of the Medical Examiner
Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine | Year: 2014

Although frequently asymptomatic, left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is an independent predictor of sudden cardiac death (SCD). We hypothesized that diving may increase the propensity for pre-existent LVH to cause a lethal arrhythmia (and SCD) and therefore the prevalence of LVH may be greater among scuba fatalities than among traffic fatalities. We compared autopsy data for 100 scuba fatalities with 178 traffic fatalities. Extracted data contained information on age, sex, height, body mass, heart mass (HM), left ventricular wall thickness (LVWT), interventricular wall thickness (IVWT), and degree of coronary artery stenosis. A case was classified as LVH if the LVWT was > 15 mm. Log risk models were used to compare HM and LVWT in two groups while controlling for body mass, body length, age and sex. The prevalence of LVH was compared using Pearson's test. The mean HM was 428.3 ± 100 for divers and 387 ± 87 for controls. The crude HM ratio for scuba fatalities vs. controls was 1.11 (1.05, 1.17), and when controlled for sex, age and body mass the ratio was 1.06 (1.01, 1.09). The mean LVWT was 15 ± 3.5 for divers and 14 ± 2.7 for controls (p = 0.0017). HM and LVWT measured at autopsy were greater in scuba than in traffic fatalities. © Copyright 2014 Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc.


Bishop-Freeman S.C.,North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner | Feaster M.S.,North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner | Beal J.,North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner | Miller A.,North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Analytical Toxicology | Year: 2016

Loperamide (Imodium®) has been accepted as a safe, effective, over-the-counter anti-diarrheal drug with low potential for abuse. It is a synthetic opioid that lacks central nervous system activity at prescribed doses, rendering it ineffective for abuse. Since 2012, however, the North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has seen cases involving loperamide at supratherapeutic levels that indicate abuse. The recommended dose associated with loperamide should not exceed 16 mg per day, although users seeking an opioid-like high reportedly take it in excess of 100 mg per dose. When taken as directed, the laboratory organic base extraction screening method with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry/nitrogen phosphorus detector lacks the sensitivity to detect loperamide. When taken in excess, the screening method identifies loperamide followed by a separate technique to confirm and quantify the drug by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Of the 21 cases involving loperamide, the pathologist implicated the drug as either additive or primary to the cause of death in 19 cases. The mean and median peripheral blood concentrations for the drug overdose cases were 0.27 and 0.23 mg/L, respectively. Furthermore, an extensive review of the pharmacology associated with loperamide and its interaction with P-glycoprotein will be examined as it relates to the mechanism of toxicity. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


Bishop-Freeman S.C.,North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner | Miller A.,North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner | Hensel E.M.,North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner | Winecker R.E.,North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
Journal of Analytical Toxicology | Year: 2015

The North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner Toxicology Laboratory identified 61 cases from 2002 to 2014 where metaxalone was detected during routine postmortem drug screening in support of a determination of cause and manner of death. Decedents were divided into groups based on the manner of death with the goal of studying metaxalone concentrations in overdose and non-overdose situations (natural, accident, suicide and undetermined). Subgroups were established for cases in which metaxalone contributed to the cause of death (attributed) and cases in which it did not (unattributed). Attributed cases were divided into those where metaxalone additively combined with other drugs and cases in which the drug was present in sufficient amounts to be the primary cause of death, regardless of other drugs present and the concentrations of those drugs. The mean metaxalone concentration for the additive deaths was 14.2 mg/L with a median value of 11 mg/L (n = 18) and a mean metaxalone concentration of 36.7 mg/L with a median value of 32 mg/L (n = 9) for primary deaths. For unattributed metaxalone concentrations, the mean was 3.4 mg/L with a median value of 2.9 mg/L (n = 31). Of the 61 cases, 34% fall at or belowa therapeutic concentration of ≤4 mg/L. The selected case studies offer valuable information regarding postmortem interpretation. © The Author 2015.


PubMed | North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of analytical toxicology | Year: 2015

The North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner Toxicology Laboratory identified 61 cases from 2002 to 2014 where metaxalone was detected during routine postmortem drug screening in support of a determination of cause and manner of death. Decedents were divided into groups based on the manner of death with the goal of studying metaxalone concentrations in overdose and non-overdose situations (natural, accident, suicide and undetermined). Subgroups were established for cases in which metaxalone contributed to the cause of death (attributed) and cases in which it did not (unattributed). Attributed cases were divided into those where metaxalone additively combined with other drugs and cases in which the drug was present in sufficient amounts to be the primary cause of death, regardless of other drugs present and the concentrations of those drugs. The mean metaxalone concentration for the additive deaths was 14.2 mg/L with a median value of 11 mg/L (n = 18) and a mean metaxalone concentration of 36.7 mg/L with a median value of 32 mg/L (n = 9) for primary deaths. For unattributed metaxalone concentrations, the mean was 3.4 mg/L with a median value of 2.9 mg/L (n = 31). Of the 61 cases, 34% fall at or below a therapeutic concentration of 4 mg/L. The selected case studies offer valuable information regarding postmortem interpretation.


PubMed | North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of analytical toxicology | Year: 2016

Loperamide (Imodium


PubMed | North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
Type: Case Reports | Journal: Journal of analytical toxicology | Year: 2012

Levetiracetam (Keppra) is one of the newer anticonvulsant drugs used to treat seizures. Since 2003, the North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner Toxicology Laboratory has collected quantitative levetiracetam data in samples for 56 postmortem cases. The data presented herein will provide the forensic community with concentrations to assist in the interpretation of levetiracetam in postmortem blood. Decedents were divided into two groups according to manner of death as determined by the medical examiner for the purposes of studying levetiracetam concentrations. There were equal numbers of natural (N = 28) and non-natural deaths (N = 28). These data were subsequently divided into subgroups for further study to explore the therapeutic range of levetiracetam and how it relates to postmortem data. The cases not certified as natural were investigated to study levetiracetam concentrations in cases where it was determined to contribute to the cause of death (attributed) and those where it was not (unattributed). Until now, the literature has only reported levetiracetam overdoses in which the individuals have recovered with respiratory support. Discussed are two suicidal drug deaths from 2010 that are noted to have elevated levels of levetiracetam, 190 and 35 mg/L. Also included in the complete data set are postmortem concentrations for five patients under the age of 10 with levetiracetam ranging from 1.4 to 50 mg/L. This paper will also address the adverse effects of the drug and explore its potential risk for suicide.

Loading North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner collaborators
Loading North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner collaborators