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American Journal of Forensic Medicine & Pathology:
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0000000000000059
CME Article

Fatal Colchicine Poisoning by Accidental Ingestion of Colchicum persicum: A Case Report

Amrollahi-Sharifabadi, Mohammad MSc*; Seghatoleslami, Ahmad MD; Amrollahi-Sharifabadi, Maryam MD; Bayani, Farajali MD§; Mirjalili, Mahdi MD

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Abstract

Colchicine poisoning can occur not only by taking dosage form but also by ingesting a plant containing colchicine. A 39-year-old man presented to the emergency room with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea 9 hours after ingestion of wild garlic. Symptoms attributed to food poisoning, and he received supportive cares and discharged. However, he was admitted to the hospital because of severe gastrointestinal presentations 4 hours later. He received treatments based on the diagnosis of acute gastroenteritis. The patient was in a fair condition during 30 hours of hospitalization until he suddenly developed respiratory distress and unfortunately died with cardiopulmonary arrest. The deceased body referred to our legal medicine center for determining cause of death and investigating possible medical staff malpractices. Postmortem examination, autopsy, macropathology and micropathology study, and postmortem toxicological analysis were performed. All results were submitted to the medical committee office for decision. The unknown cause of death was disclosed after determination of colchicine in the plant and botanical identification as Colchicum persicum. The committee determined the most probable cause of death as acute cardiopulmonary complications induced by colchicine poisoning and the manner of death as accidental. The medical staff was acquitted of the malpractice.

Copyright © 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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