Browsing by Subject "post-mortem toxicology"

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  • Ketola, Raimo A.; Ojanperä, Ilkka (2019)
    Concentration distributions for 183 drugs and metabolites frequently found in post-mortem (PM) femoral venous blood were statistically characterized based on an extensive database of 122 234 autopsy cases investigated during an 18-year period in a centralized laboratory. The cases represented all causes of death, with fatal drug poisonings accounting for 8%. The proportion of males was 74% with a median age of 58 years compared with 26% females with a median age of 64 years. In 36% of these cases, blood alcohol concentration was higher than or equal to 0.2 parts per thousand, the median being 1.6 parts per thousand. The mean, median, and upper percentile (90th, 95th, 97.5th) drug concentrations were established, as the median PM concentrations give an idea of the "normal" PM concentration level, and the upper percentile concentrations indicate possible overdose levels. A correspondence was found between subsets of the present and the previously published PM drug concentrations from another laboratory that grouped cases according to the cause of death. Our results add to the knowledge for evidence-based interpretation of drug-related deaths.