Chief toxicologist, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DC
Major, U.S. Air Force and deputy chief toxicologist, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DC
Manager of Aeromedical Research Div., Civil Aeromedical Institute, Federal Aviation Administration, Oklahoma City, OK
Lieutenant colonel, U.S. Army and chief of Division of Forensic Toxicology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DC
(Received 23 June 1990; accepted 5 December 1990)
Blood, urine, and tissue specimens were received from 377 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aviation fatalities during fiscal year 1989. Carbon monoxide at less than 10% saturation was found in 94% of the cases, and cyanide at less than 0.5 mg/L was found in 96% of the cases. Ethanol at greater than 10 mg/dL was found in 14.8% of the cases, but only 4.5% were determined to be due to ethanol ingestion from toxicological findings. Excluding nicotine and ethanol, 12.6% of the cases were positive for one or more drugs. Acetaminophen and salicylate were the most frequently found drugs. Cannabinoids were found in 1.3% of the cases and benzoylecgonine in 1.6%. There was minimal use of therapeutic drugs that cause central nervous system depression or stimulation. These results show no consistent pattern of drug involvement in civilian aviation fatalities.
Paper ID: JFS13127J