A number of conditions need to be considered after finding a person drowned in a bathtub.


Differential diagnosis of drowning in a bathtub:

(1) drug overdose

(2) acute myocardial infarction

(3) epilepsy

(4) multiple sclerosis (associated with hyperthermia)

(5) head trauma following a slip in the tub

(6) homicide by drowning

(7) staged drowning after homicide


Checklist of tasks to be performed:

(1) look for signs of trauma (blow to head, strangling, bruising, etc)

(2) toxicology including sedatives

(3) medical history

(4) careful exam of the coronary arteries

(5) death scene investigation (locked door, other occupants, etc)

(6) measure temperature of the body and water

(7) check water heater setting


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