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Case 1, image 1: This 77 year old decedent was found unresponsive with extensive thermal injuries within his charred and burned residence. Here is a section of a large airway.

Case 1, image 2: Dark soot along with sloughed respiratory epithelium within the airways.

Case 2, image 1: This 1-year-old infant died of carbon monoxide toxicity. The fire was set by one of her young siblings who was playing with a lighter. At autopsy, there were superficial burns of the body as well as significantly elevated carboxyhemoglobin saturation.

Case 2, image 2: Abundant soot within larger airways.


Along with a carboxyhemoglobin level, soot in the airways can indicate that the decedent was alive at some point during the fire.

Last updated: 2013-10-19
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