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Journal Article


Papadodima SA, Sakelliadis EI, Kotretsos PS, Athanaselis SA, Spiliopoulou CA. Hellenic J. Cardiol. 2007; 48(4): 198-205.


Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece.


(Copyright © 2007, Hellenic Cardiological Society)






INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this report is to describe the main autopsy and laboratory findings from a large number of drowning victims in Greece. METHODS: A retrospective analysis was carried out of the consecutive cases of drowning victims autopsied in our department during the period 1997-2004. RESULTS: A total of 197 submersion cases were referred to the Department. In 168 cases drowning was considered as the cause of death. In 82 cases (49%) significant histopathological findings from the cardiovascular system were present. Alcohol was found in 21 cases (13%) and psychoactive substances in 4 cases (2%). Food was found in the stomach of 45 drowning victims (27%). Men (65%) and elderly people (60 years and older, 74%) made up the majority of drowning victims. In 29 submersion cases the cause of death was other than drowning; in 25 of these cases death was attributed to cardiovascular disease (complication of coronary artery disease, 23 cases; dissecting aortic aneurysm, 1 case; cerebral stroke, 1 case). CONCLUSIONS: The great majority of drowning victims are the elderly and men. Moreover, in a considerable number of submersion cases cardiovascular disease was related to the death, either as a contributing factor, or as the cause of death.

Language: en


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