Path Image

Case 1, image 1: This was a 3 year old child that drowned in a shallow river. Note the foreign matter consistent with vegetable matter within the large bronchiole.


Some autopsy findings that a forensic pathologist may encounter in a drowning case include abundant foam coming from the nose and mouth, hyperinflated lungs, water within the stomach and respiratory sinuses and hemorrhage within the middle ear. Microscopically, one might seen vegetation and other debris within airspaces of the lungs.

Note, however, there is no pathognomonic feature for drowning and the absence of these findings do not rule out drowning.

Last updated: 2013-10-16
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