Fatal outcome of a sand aspiration
Source: International Journal of Legal Medicine, Volume 122, Number 6, November 2008 , pp. 499-502(4)
Abstract:Although extensive deep aspiration of sand, gravel, or dirt is a very rare incident, its consequences may be severe ranging from the necessity of immediate intensive care to death. Cases reported so far were due to external causes such as cave-ins, near drowning, or being buried under sand masses. We report a case of a 2 1/2-year-old boy who ingested sand while playing in a sandbox with his older brother. Despite early resuscitation and endotracheal intubation efforts, he died subsequently showing clinical signs of asphyxia due to airway obstruction. Autopsy revealed sand masses obstructing the trachea and lobar bronchi of both lungs as well as brain edema, while no signs of blunt trauma, forced sand ingestion, or preexisting medical conditions were found. This case demonstrates that fatal self-administered sand aspiration may occur in early childhood. The pathophysiology of the lethal outcome with regard to the physical properties of sand and implications for the clinical assessment of emergency situations are discussed.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Center of Legal Medicine, Institute of Forensic Medicine, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Kennedyallee 104, 60596, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, Email: M.Kettner@med.uni-frankfurt.de 2: Center of Legal Medicine, Institute of Forensic Medicine, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Kennedyallee 104, 60596, Frankfurt am Main, Germany 3: Darmstädter Kinderkliniken Prinzessin Margaret, Dieburger Str. 31, 64287, Darmstadt, Germany
Publication date: 2008-11-01