Fatal formalin poisoning - a case report on forensichistopathology

AUTHORS : Das Abhishek, Ejaz Ambreen,Das Nandini, Sukul Biswajit
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Formalin poisoning, mostly accidental, if not suicidal, isrelatively common in those areas where the chemical is usedor easily available like textile factory, rubber factory, printingetc. Strong irritation and offensive, pungent odour contributesto its rarity.Formalin poisoning affects all the systems as it iseasily absorbed through respiratory and gastrointestinal tractand spreads in whole body through blood causing constrictionin chest, palpitation, pain abdomen and gastrointestinalirritation, urinary abnormality, liver damage and clottingfactors abnormality. This type of poisoning is rare and unusual.Itís associated with high mortality rate, so proper elicitationof history, identification of the offending material andpostmortem histopathology are essential. A 68 year old malewas admitted with history of formalin poisoning after 7 hoursand expired 40 mins post admission Evident findings wereprominent on autopsy followed by histopathology. The presentinvestigation is an attempt to highlight the clinical picturealong with autopsy histopathology in details of formalinpoisoning. Such studies are essential in developing appropriatepreventive strategies.

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