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The use of Vitreous Cardio-Renal Biochemical Parameters as a Discriminant of Brackish Water Drowning


ES Agoro* and DE Kpomah

Drowning is among the major causes of unintentional deaths with an annual estimate of about 372,000 as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO). Due to the empirical difficulties associated with discriminating true drowning from postmortem drowning, criminals now commit murder and disguise it as unintentional drowning. Drowning can occur in any kind of water body either artificial or natural. The type of water body associated with the drowning is crucial in the discrimination of postmortem drowning. Freshwater, brackish water, or saltwater drowning could present varied postmortem chemistries. Therefore, this study aimed to use some selected vitreous biomarkers and biochemical parameters in the discrimination of postmortem brackish water drowning. The sample size of this study was validated using Mead’s formula with a total of sixteen (16) rabbits employed. The study comprised four groups of four rabbits each. They include the Control Group (CD), the Chloroform Death group (CFD), the Postmortem Death Drowned group (PDD), and the Brackish Drowned Death (BDD). Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) program (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA; Version 18-21) was the choice statistical package. In a similar vein, One-Way ANOVA (LSD-Pos Hoc) was the choice tool for the vitreous data analysis. The study revealed elevated vitreous creatinine, uric acid, potassium, and chloride concentrations in death resulting from brackish water drowning. Other vitreous parameters were stable and could form part of the panel of laboratory investigations of brackish water drowning. The findings of this study could serve as a hallmark in defining brackish water drowning death.

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Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research The Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research is a bi-monthly multidisciplinary medical journal.
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