Arrest-related death on the basis of a drug-induced excited delirium syndrome.
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CitationKunz SN, Þórðardóttir S, Jónasson JG. Arrest-related death on the basis of a drug-induced excited delirium syndrome. J Forensic Leg Med. 2021 Jan;77:102091. doi: 10.1016/j.jflm.2020.102091.
AbstractAims: In typical arrest-related death (ARD) scenarios, the victims often show signs of excited delirium syndrome (ExDS), intoxication, exhaustion and/or suffered from a preexisting physical or psychiatrical condition, all of which could have caused or at least triggered the person's death. Since autopsy findings are very rare in such cases, a clear clinicopathologic diagnosis and thus mechanism of death is rarely found. Methods: We present a case of a 25-year old woman, who died while being arrested by the police. Based on the patient's medical history, autopsy findings, contradicting witness testimonies, and reliable clinical and toxicological blood parameters, the most probable diagnosis is discussed. Results: The cause of death was determined as cardiac arrest subsequent to a combination of excited delirium syndrome, physical exhaustion and respiratory impairment. The manner of death was unnatural and juridically, the charges were dropped. Conclusions: In cases, where the cause and mechanism of death can only be diagnosed by exclusion, police collaboration, detailed clinical history (past and present) as well as clinical blood parameter analyses are necessary to help evaluating possible contributing factors and the most probable cause of death in ARD. Keywords: Amphetamine; Arrest-related death; Asphyxia; Excited delirium syndrome; Forensic medicine; Restraint.
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RightsCopyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd and Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine. All rights reserved.
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