Author(s): Levine B, Goodin JC, Caplan YH, Levine B, Goodin JC, Caplan YH
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Abstract A case is presented of a 35-year-old black African male anesthesiology resident, found dead in his apartment. At the scene a syringe, butterfly intravenous line and a bottle of Versed (Midazolam) were recovered. A comprehensive screen for common drugs of abuse and therapeutic agents failed to detect any drugs in blood and urine. The blood ethanol concentration was 0.06 g/dl. A GC/MS SIM assay for midazolam was developed. A sub-therapeutic midazolam blood concentration of 7.5 ng/ml was detected and concentrations (ng/ml or ng/g) in bile, urine, and liver were 3.3, 7.5, and 96, respectively. The syringe fluid was then analyzed and found to contain only fentanyl, midazolam was absent. The blood fentanyl concentration was 4.9 ng/ml which is consistent with those reported in fentanyl fatalities. Fentanyl concentrations (ng/ml or ng/g) in bile, urine, and liver were 8.8, 5.0, and 5.9, respectively. The cause of death was ruled to be fentanyl intoxication and the manner of death undetermined.
This article was published in Forensic Sci Int
and referenced in Journal of Forensic Research