Rarely a person may commit suicide by ingesting a large amount of an iron salt.

Clinical effects:

(1) mucosal necrosis in the gastrointestinal tract

(2) coagulopathy

(3) hemorrhagic shock

(4) multi-organ failure


A key finding at autopsy is iron encrustation of the gastric rugae.


After an acute ingestion:

(1) there should be minimal iron staining in the liver

(2) the serum iron will be very high, then fall if the patient survives (a chronic overload state will be fairly constant)


The scene investigation may show bottles for iron pills.

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