Presented at the 58th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, February 20–25, 2006, in Seattle, WA.
CASE REPORT TOXICOLOGY
An Unusual Case of Accidental Poisoning: Fatal Methadone Inhalation*
Article first published online: 1 MAR 2011
© 2011 American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Journal of Forensic Sciences
Volume 56, Issue 4, pages 1072–1075, July 2011
How to Cite
Palmiere, C., Brunel, C., Sporkert, F. and Augsburger, M. (2011), An Unusual Case of Accidental Poisoning: Fatal Methadone Inhalation. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 56: 1072–1075. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2011.01730.x
- Issue published online: 5 JUL 2011
- Article first published online: 1 MAR 2011
- Received 24 Feb. 2010; and in revised form 6 May 2010; accepted 16 May 2010.
- forensic science;
- forensic pathology;
- substance abuse;
Abstract: In this report, the authors present a case of unusual, accidental methadone intoxication in a 40-year-old man, who had inhaled methadone powder. The drug dealer was a pharmacy technician; methadone had been stolen from a pharmacy and sold as cocaine. After having inhaled methadone powder, he suffered cardiopulmonary arrest. He was admitted to hospital where he died after 24 h of intensive care. The autopsy revealed congestion of internal organs and cerebral and pulmonary edema. Microscopically, the heart showed no changes. The toxicological analyses performed on blood and urine taken at the hospital revealed methadone, cannabinoids, and ethanol. The blood methadone concentration was 290 μg/L. The urine methadone concentration was 160 μg/L. Midazolam and lidocaine, which were administered to the patient at the hospital, were also detected in the blood. The cause of death was determined to be methadone intoxication. The literature has been reviewed and discussed. To date, and to our knowledge, only very few cases of accidental death resulting from methadone inhalation have been described up to the case presented herein.