Drowning may be due to accidental, suicidal or homicidal factors. Drowning is a type of asphyxial death in which the respiration is slowed down by submersion into a fluid. It is not necessary whether the fluid enters into the lungs or not. The diagnosis of drowning for bodies freshly regained from water is mainly based on some drowning signs, such as the presence of fine froth at the mouth or nostrils, petechial haemorrhages, impression of ribs on lungs, oedematous lungs and some other histo-pathological findings. For the decomposed corpses and skeletonised body found in water, however, the diagnosis of drowning is rather difficult because those drowning signs were destroyed. Here diatom test stands as the only direct screening test for drowning. The principle behind the diatom test is when drowning takes place the diatoms present in medium, enter through ruptured capillaries via penetration into the alveolar system, subsequently to blood stream and further distant organs and other body tissues, resulting in diatom test proves to be a golden standard test in forensic investigation to detect antemortem or postmortem drowning.
Last date updated on July, 2014