Attempted Murder with Pancuronium

    Volume 35, Issue 6 (November 1990)

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    CODEN: JFSOAD

    Page Count: 9


    Briglia, EJ
    Chief of Toxicology Laboratory, forensic scientists, and director of laboratories, Division of Medical-Legal Investigations and Forensic Sciences, County of Suffolk, Hauppauge, NY

    Dal Cortivo, LA
    Chief of Toxicology Laboratory, forensic scientists, and director of laboratories, Division of Medical-Legal Investigations and Forensic Sciences, County of Suffolk, Hauppauge, NY

    Katz, M
    Chief of Toxicology Laboratory, forensic scientists, and director of laboratories, Division of Medical-Legal Investigations and Forensic Sciences, County of Suffolk, Hauppauge, NY

    Davis, PL
    Chief of Toxicology Laboratory, forensic scientists, and director of laboratories, Division of Medical-Legal Investigations and Forensic Sciences, County of Suffolk, Hauppauge, NY

    (Received 20 October 1989; accepted 27 November 1989)

    Abstract

    A nurse was accused of attempting to murder her anesthesiologist husband on two occasions by administering to him a neuromuscular blocking agent. In both episodes, urine specimens were obtained from the victim shortly after the suspected assaults. The samples were initially tested fluorometrically using Rose Bengal dye as a pairing agent. Both were presumptively positive for pancuronium. Confirmation of these results was achieved by pairing the drug with potassium iodide, extracting the complex, and submitting the extract to thin-layer chromatography (TLC) cleanup, elution at the appropriate retardation factor (Rf), and, finally, gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis in the selectedion monitoring mode. The two quaternary amines of pancuronium appear to undergo pyrolytic N-demethylation in the injection port to yield an entity amenable to capillary column gas chromatography. The mass spectrum of the compound consists of a base peak of m/z 322, with additional fragments of 292, 323, 338, 396, and 397 m/z, each of which was monitored. The confirmed positive findings were instrumental in adjudicating the case.


    Paper ID: JFS12985J

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS12985J

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    Author
    Title Attempted Murder with Pancuronium
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30