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The formation of ethanol in postmortem tissues : final report

Author: Robert D Johnson; United States. Office of Aerospace Medicine.; Civil Aerospace Medical Institute.
Publisher: Washington, DC : Office of Aerospace Medicine, Federal Aviation Administration ; Springfield, Va. : Available through the National Technical Information Service, [2004]
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : National government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
During the investigation of aviation accidents, postmortem samples obtained from fatal accident victims are submitted to the FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute for toxicological analysis. During toxicological evaluations, ethanol analysis is performed on all cases. Many species of bacteria, yeast and fungi have the ability to produce ethanol and other volatile organic compounds in postmortem specimens. The
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Additional Physical Format: Formation of ethanol in postmortem tissues
11 p.
(OCoLC)54880301
Material Type: Document, Government publication, National government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Robert D Johnson; United States. Office of Aerospace Medicine.; Civil Aerospace Medical Institute.
OCLC Number: 71797995
Notes: Title from PDF cover (viewed on Sept. 19, 2006).
"February 2004."
"DOT/FAA/AM-04/4."
Description: 1 online resource
Responsibility: Robert D. Johnson [and others] ; Civil Aerospace Medical Institute.

Abstract:

During the investigation of aviation accidents, postmortem samples obtained from fatal accident victims are submitted to the FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute for toxicological analysis. During toxicological evaluations, ethanol analysis is performed on all cases. Many species of bacteria, yeast and fungi have the ability to produce ethanol and other volatile organic compounds in postmortem specimens. The potential for postmortem ethanol formation complicates the interpretation of ethanol-positive results from accident victims. Therefore, the prevention of ethanol formation at all steps following specimen collection is a priority.

Sodium fluoride is the most commonly used preservative for postmortem specimens. Thus, we frequently rely on tissue specimens for ethanol analysis. The postmortem tissue specimens received by our laboratory have generally been subjected to severe trauma and may have been exposed to numerous microbial species capable of ethanol production. With this in mind, we designed an experiment utilizing unadulterated tissue specimens obtained from aviation accident victims to determine the effectiveness of sodium fluoride at various storage temperatures for the prevention of microbial ethanol formation.

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