(Received 12 May 1980; accepted 25 September 1980)
Published Online: April
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A case of delayed death resulting from drowning was investigated. A disparity in the propoxyphene concentrations determined in antemortem and postmortem specimens appeared to exist. The disparity is apparently a product of the fact that cardiopulmonary function had been maintained artificially for 57 h, with subsequent tissue autolysis that was demonstrated microscopically. Interpretation of laboratory findings on postmortem specimens must be done with caution when the interval between drug exposure and death has been interrupted by respirator therapy.
Associate medical examiner, University of Miami School of Medicine, Dade County, Fla.
Chief toxicologist, Long Island Jewish-Hillside Medical Center, Glen Oaks, N.Y.
Director of laboratories, Medical Examiner's Office, Dade County, Fla.
Stock #: JFS11371J