An autopsy case of chemical burns by hydrochloric acid

Shuji Kozawa, Eiji Kakizaki, Eri Muraoka, Hideki Koketsu, Mitsuru Setoyama, Nobuhiro Yukawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


A 34-year-old man was discovered by his coworkers in a tank filled with 35% (w/w) hydrochloric acid. Despite undergoing intensive treatment, he died one and a half days later. An autopsy revealed generalized high tensity, overall grayish brown skin color, heavy gastric submucosal hemorrhage and heavy pulmonary edema. We concluded that death was caused by burn shock due to wide, generalized chemical burn. Microscopic investigation of the burn in the area with grayish brown skin considered coagulation necrosis of full-thickness of the skin (third-degree or deep burn), revealed that the burn was judged to cover the partial thickness of the skin (second-degree or dermal burn). These findings suggest that chemical burn by hydrochloric acid results in a change of skin color due to chemical reaction so that the appearance of the chemical burn is more severe than the degree assigned by histological examination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S535-S537
JournalLegal Medicine
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - 04-2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects


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