Forensic Nursing and Criminal Poisoning

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I have recently read about a medical case regarding a 34-year-old black female that was flying from one side of the US to the other. After being up in the air for several hours, she began to complain about abdominal cramping.

She proceeded to spend a significant amount of time in the bathroom. Upon returning to her seat, an elderly women offered a solution to black female’s abdominal problems. The elderly women thought that her seat partner must be constipated and gave her a dose of mineral oil to help her move her bowels.

Before landing at their destination, the black female began to feel worse. Her heart was racing, abdomen was rigid and causing excruciating pain, and began to vomit profusely. After landing, she was taken immediately to a nearby medical center. She died shortly after her arrival at the emergency center.

The autopsy showed a massive overdose from crack cocaine. Apparently, she had swallowed multiple condoms filled with crack cocaine prior to her departure. She was transporting them to her arrival destination. Her abdominal cramping started from the massive influx. By offering the mineral oil, the elderly women actually caused a life-threatening condition. Condoms cannot withstand any type of oil based substances. The mineral oil caused the condoms to rupture, thus, a toxic dosage of crack cocaine was introduced into the females body. Ultimately, the toxic dose resulted in her death.

This case raised my awareness of a problem that I had never thought about. As a forensic nurse, the ingestion of drugs to avoid being charged with possession may be fatal. Problem-solving to retrieve the drugs takes knowledge of the body system and potential hazards that may result by actions that we impose.

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