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J Anal Toxicol. 2012 Mar;36(2):112-5. doi: 10.1093/jat/bks002.

A gas chromatography-thermal conductivity detection method for helium detection in postmortem blood and tissue specimens.

Author information

1
Federal Bureau of Investigation Laboratory, Quantico, VA 22135, USA. jason.schaff@ic.fbi.gov

Abstract

In cases of death by inert gas asphyxiation, it can be difficult to obtain toxicological evidence supporting assignment of a cause of death. Because of its low mass and high diffusivity, and its common use as a carrier gas, helium presents a particular challenge in this respect. We describe a rapid and simple gas chromatography-thermal conductivity detection method to qualitatively screen a variety of postmortem biological specimens for the presence of helium. Application of this method is demonstrated with three case examples, encompassing an array of different biological matrices.

PMID:
22337780
DOI:
10.1093/jat/bks002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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