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J Forensic Leg Med. 2012 Nov;19(8):494-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jflm.2012.02.028. Epub 2012 Mar 11.

Autopsy diagnosis of a death due to scorpion stinging--a case report.

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  • 1Forensic Medicine, SBKS Medical Institute and Research Center, Sumandeep Vidyapeeth University, Vadodara, Gujarat 391760, India.


Post-mortem diagnosis of envenomation by a scorpion with or without a reliable history is a herculean task for any forensic pathologist. The challenge is compounded when stinging occurs at night, with the history remaining unreliable. The autopsy diagnosis is further complicated when the inflicted wound is small, and the mark is obliterated by healing within few days. As the venom of a scorpion is a mixture of enzymes, most of the forensic science laboratories in India fail to diagnose the poisoning. We present a case in which there was no external evidence of stinging, but the internal post-mortem findings along with histology of the organ systems pointed towards the diagnosis and were corroborated by the history. We reemphasise the importance of pathological sampling of organ systems, whenever there is death due to a suspicious, unknown insect bite.

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