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The cyanide poisoning necropsy: an appraisal of risk factors.
  1. A R Forrest,
  2. J H Galloway,
  3. D N Slater
  1. Department of Clinical Chemistry, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield.


    Blood cyanide concentrations were measured in samples obtained from a pathologist before and after carrying out a necropsy on the body of a victim of cyanide poisoning. There was no significant increase in his blood cyanide concentration after carrying out the procedure. It is suggested that an important factor in determining the risk to those carrying out necropsies of the bodies of victims of cyanide poisoning is the amount of cyanide remaining in the stomach. There are several ways in which the theoretical risk inherent in carrying out such necropsies could be reduced, such as the use of a full face respirator, or the removal, intact, of the upper gastrointestinal tract to a fume cupboard for examination.

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