Fatal air embolism following left forearm stab-wound

Masataka Nagao, Yoshitaka Maeno, Hirdyoshi Koyama, Mineo Iwasa, Ichiro Isobe, Yoshimi Seko-Nakamura, Jun Monma-Ohtaki

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A 41-year-old man received a single stab-wound to his left forearm from a knife was transferred to a general hospital for further treatment. On arrival, he was alert and excitable and made a statement to a policeman. During conversation, cough, dyspnea and cardiac arrest suddenly occurred, and he died. A judicial autopsy was performed 32 h after death, at which time the face of the victim was congested and petechial hemorrhages beneath the conjunctivae were observed. Internal examination of stabwound revealed incision of the left deep median vein. The lungs were congested and edematous. The right ventricle was expanded and air was aspirated from the right ventricular cavity with a syringe. Sporadic gas bubbles were observed in the congested pulmonary vessels and there were positive findings of fibrinogen aligned at the blood-bubble interface. From these finfings, his cause of death was diagnosed to pulmonary air embolism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-129
Number of pages5
JournalActa Criminologiae et Medicinae Legalis Japonica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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