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Sept 2, 1968

Suicide by Ingestion of Halothane

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pathology, Naval Submarine Medical Center, Naval Submarine Base, Groton, Conn, and the Department of Anesthesiology, School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.

JAMA. 1968;205(10):702-703. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140360062021

High levels of halothane (Fluothane) were found at autopsy in the serum and various other tissues of a hospital employee and indicate for the first time the range of lethal concentration in man. Modern halogenated hydrocarbon anesthetics are not unpleasant to smell or taste and may be used as suicidal agents. Meticulous anaerobic technique is vital in assessing the role of such agents in autopsy material.