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Choking Death on a Live Fish (Dicologoglossa cuneata)

Pinheiro, João MD, MsSci; Cordeiro, Cristina MD; Vieira, Duarte Nuno MD, MsSci, PhD

The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: June 2003 - Volume 24 - Issue 2 - p 177-178
doi: 10.1097/01.PAF.0000069564.43504.b7
Case Report

A choking death of a healthy fisherman, who put a type of live sole between his jaws to free up his hands so that he could collect more fish to put into his basket, is described. The fish squirmed into the larynx and upper trachea and the attempts to rescue the man by his colleagues who used pliers did not succeed, and the man died. Other published cases are reviewed, and risk factors and rescue possibilities discussed.

From the National Institute of Legal Medicine, Coimbra Delegation, Largo da Sé Nova, Coimbra, Portugal.

Manuscript received October 17, 2002; accepted March 7, 2003.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to João Pinheiro, Instituto Nacional de Medicina Legal, Delegaçcão de Coimbra, Largo da Sé Nova, 3000-213 Coimbra, Portugal; E-mail:

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.