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Suicide by Hydrogen Sulfide Inhalation

Bott, Eleanor MBBS, BSc (Hons); Dodd, Malcolm MBBS (Hons), FRCPA, DMJ(Path), FFFLM (RCP-UK), Assoc Dip MLT, MACLM, AAIMLT, FACBS, Grad Cert Health Prof Ed

The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: March 2013 - Volume 34 - Issue 1 - p 23–25
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e31827ab5ad
Case Reports

The authors report a case of suicide by hydrogen sulfide in Australia. A young woman was located in a car wearing protective eyewear. A tub of foamy yellow substance and a quantity of hydrochloric acid and lime sulfur were also located in the rear of the vehicle. Morphological findings at autopsy were nonspecific. Toxicologic analysis of a specimen of leg blood detected elevated levels of methemoglobin.

If Australia follows a similar trend to Japan and the United States, it is possible that incidences of such cases will rise, probably because of Internet dissemination. From a public health perspective, emergency service providers and forensic case workers should be aware of the potential hazards to themselves and others when dealing with such cases.

From The Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, Victoria, Australia.

Manuscript received February 2, 2012; accepted June 6, 2012.

The authors report no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Eleanor Bott, MBBS, BSc (Hons), The Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, 57-83 Kavanagh St, Southbank, Victoria, 3006, Australia. E-mail:

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.