Background:Death due to acute poisoning is of medical, legal and social significance. This study was designed to investigate lethal poisonings among dead bodies referred to a regional office of Iranian Legal Medicine Organization (ILMO).
Methods:This was a retrospective descriptive-analytical study on dead bodies referred to Fars province regional office of ILMO in Shiraz, Iran, during April 2013 to the end of March 2014. For data analysis, only subjects with poisoning as the definitive cause of death were included.
Results:During the study period, 2,594 autopsies were conducted in Fars province office of ILMO, among which poisoning was found to be the cause of death in 147 autopsies (5.7%). Eighty-eight cases (59.9%) were men. The majority of subjects aged 20 to 30 years (50.3%). The greatest number of subjects (73.5%) was unmarried persons. Regarding the occupation, most subjects were unemployed (49.7%) followed by housewives (19.7%). Over half of the cases (54.42%) had died within less than 6 hours after the poisoning. The majority of cases were found dead at home (73.5%), while the rest had died in outpatient department or hospital wards. Suicide cases were far more common than unintentional cases (75.5% vs. 24.5%). Suicidal intention was significantly higher in subjects with lower educational status (P = 0.033). The most common causes of poisoning were pharmaceutical products (66.7%) followed by aluminum phosphide (10.9%) and other types of pesticides (7.2%).
Conclusion:Lethal poisonings is mostly seen in young adults, and those with lower educational level and unemployment. Suicidal intention is the main cause of lethal poisonings.