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1/2. Studies on the composition of gases in the post-mortem body: animal experiments and two autopsy cases.

    The composition of gases was measured in a cadaver, particularly in the stomach, using gas chromatography. High concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen (H2) and a low concentration of methane (CH4) were found. At an environmental temperature of 25 degrees C, the concentrations of CO2 and H2 were approximately 80% and 10%, respectively, at an advanced stage of putrefaction, while at an environmental temperature of 15 degrees C the concentrations were approximately 60% and 35%, respectively. These gases were not produced until the fourth day at 15 degrees C, but after that the volume of gases was greater than that produced at 25 degrees C, the cadaver becoming greatly enlarged. oxygen (O2) in air injected into a body disappeared during putrefaction. This study revealed that H2 was the main component of inflammable gas in a dead body. The mechanisms of production of the gases are also discussed.
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2/2. A case of drowning linked to ingested sulfides--a report with animal experiments.

    An adult male was found dead beneath a pool of sewage in the pump room of a fish market. autopsy revealed the cause of death to be suffocation after aspirating sewage into the respiratory tract. Since hydrogen sulfide gas was detected in the atmosphere at the scene of the accident, gas poisoning was suspected and toxicological analysis of sulfides in body tissues was performed. The concentrations of sulfides in the blood, lung and kidney were 0.95 [email protected], 0.22 and 0.38 mumol/g, respectively. These values were remarkably higher than those in previously reported cases involving exposure to hydrogen sulfide gas. Therefore, oral intake of sulfides was assumed and the distribution of sulfides in tissues following oral administration of sodium sulfide solution was examined by means of animal experiments using rats. The concentration of sulfides in the blood from rats following oral intake was much higher than that seen following gas exposure. Based on these results, we concluded that the victim had been exposed to hydrogen sulfide gas and had then collapse into a pool of sewage containing sulfides. The sulfides which were distributed throughout the body tissues had mainly issued from the alimentary tract prior to death by drowning.
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