Volume 49, Issue 6 (November 2004)
Oxycodone Intoxication in an Infant: Accidental or Intentional Exposure?
A case is presented of a 10 month old male who went into cardiac arrest at a local store. The infant subsequently expired and was autopsied at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, State of Maryland. The only remarkable finding was the detection of oxycodone in the postmortem specimens; the blood and liver oxycodone concentrations were 0.6 mg/L and 1.6 mg/kg, respectively. Oxycodone was identified and quantitated by gas chromatography-nitrogen-phosphorus detection and confirmed by full scan electron ionization gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The medical examiner ruled that the cause of death was oxycodone intoxication, and the manner of death was homicide. The key toxicologic question in this case was whether or not it was reasonable for the infant to be exposed to oxycodone exclusively through breast milk or through an alternate source. It was concluded that, at best, there were serious concerns about the likelihood of drug exposure through consumption of breast milk.