San Diego, CA, United States
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Vance C.S.,San Diego County Sheriffs Crime Laboratory | Carter C.R.,San Diego County Sheriffs Crime Laboratory | Carter R.J.,San Diego County Sheriffs Crime Laboratory | Del Valle M.M.,San Diego County Sheriffs Crime Laboratory | Pena J.R.,San Diego County Sheriffs Crime Laboratory
Journal of Analytical Toxicology | Year: 2015

The effects of storage time and temperature on blood alcohol concentration were evaluated in this two-part study involving 34 ethanolnegative and 21 ethanol-positive volunteers. Multiple 10-mL Vacutainer® blood tubes containing 100 mg of sodium fluoride and 20 mg of potassium oxalate were collected from living persons and subjected to various storage conditions. The time from collection to analysis ranged from 0 to 60 days and storage temperatures ranged from 3 to 20°C. Regardless of the storage conditions, all ethanol-negative samples remained negative (<0.0025 g/100 mL) throughout the study. There was no increase in the concentration of ethanol-positive samples beyond the expected variability of the method, regardless of storage time or temperature. Many ethanol-positive samples demonstrated decreases in concentration during storage compared with the original immediate analysis. The findings from this study support previous research, which demonstrates that microbial formation of ethanol in properly collected antemortem blood is unlikely. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


PubMed | San Diego County Sheriffs Crime Laboratory
Type: Comparative Study | Journal: Journal of analytical toxicology | Year: 2015

The effects of storage time and temperature on blood alcohol concentration were evaluated in this two-part study involving 34 ethanol-negative and 21 ethanol-positive volunteers. Multiple 10-mL Vacutainer() blood tubes containing 100 mg of sodium fluoride and 20 mg of potassium oxalate were collected from living persons and subjected to various storage conditions. The time from collection to analysis ranged from 0 to 60 days and storage temperatures ranged from 3 to 20C. Regardless of the storage conditions, all ethanol-negative samples remained negative (<0.0025 g/100 mL) throughout the study. There was no increase in the concentration of ethanol-positive samples beyond the expected variability of the method, regardless of storage time or temperature. Many ethanol-positive samples demonstrated decreases in concentration during storage compared with the original immediate analysis. The findings from this study support previous research, which demonstrates that microbial formation of ethanol in properly collected antemortem blood is unlikely.


PubMed | San Diego County Medical Examiners Office and San Diego County Sheriffs Crime Laboratory
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Forensic science review | Year: 2015

One of the most difficult responsibilities of the forensic toxicologist is the interpretation of postmortem drug levels and their possible significance as to behavior and/or cause of death. During the past 15 years, much work has been performed using human case information and animal studies to illustrate and validate the phenomena of postmortem drug redistribution. These studies provide certain clarification to drug level interpretation. They also cast uncertainty on the interpretation of drugs where analogous studies are incomplete or totally absent. Literature data of more than 30 drugs, as reported by numerous authors, are reviewed to illustrate two phenomena: (a) postmortem redistribution occurs primarily as a function of the diffusion of drugs along a concentration gradient, from sites of high concentration in solid organs into the blood with artificial elevation of the drug levels; and (b) while many drugs seem to subject to postmortem redistribution, there are also others that undergo no change whatsoever. While additional work still needs to be performed, there has been enough achieved to both illustrate and validate that postmortem redistribution does exist. This information is helpful to forensic pathologists in determining sample sets taken during autopsy.

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