Medico legal investigations into sudden sniffing deaths linked with trichloroethylene.

Journal of forensic and legal medicine

PubMedID: 26165664

Da Broi U, Colatutto A, Sala P, Desinan L. Medico legal investigations into sudden sniffing deaths linked with trichloroethylene. J Forensic Leg Med. 2015;3481-7.
Sudden deaths attributed to sniffing trichloroethylene are caused by the abuse of this solvent which produces pleasant inebriating effects with rapid dissipation. In the event of repeated cycles of inhalation, a dangerous and uncontrolled systemic accumulation of trichloroethylene may occur, followed by central nervous system depression, coma and lethal cardiorespiratory arrest. Sometimes death occurs outside the hospital environment, without medical intervention or witnesses and without specific necroscopic signs. Medico legal investigations into sudden sniffing deaths associated with trichloroethylene demand careful analysis of the death scene and related circumstances, a detailed understanding of the deceased's medical history and background of substance abuse and an accurate evaluation of all autopsy and laboratory data, with close cooperation between the judiciary, coroners and toxicologists.