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.
From the *Forensic Laboratory and †Autopsy Hall, Legal Medicine Center of Yazd, Legal Medicine Organization of Iran, Yazd City, Yazd Province; ‡Province Health Center, Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Bandar-Abbas City, Hormozgan Province; §Medical Committee Office; and ∥Medical Committee Office, Legal Medicine Center of Yazd, Legal Medicine Organization of Iran, Yazd City, Yazd Province, Islamic Republic of Iran.
Manuscript received June 30, 2012; accepted January 18, 2013.
The authors report no conflicts of interest.
Reprints: Mohammad Amrollahi-Sharifabadi, MSc, Forensic laboratory, Legal Medicine Center of Yazd, Legal Medicine Organization of Iran, Dadgostari Aly, Farokhi St, Yazd City, Yazd Province, Islamic Republic of Iran. E-mail: email@example.com.