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Medicina Legal de Costa Rica

On-line version ISSN 2215-5287Print version ISSN 1409-0015


FLORES SANDI, Grettchen. Intoxicación por estricnina en Costa Rica. Med. leg. Costa Rica [online]. 1995, vol.11-12, n.2-1, pp.50-52. ISSN 2215-5287.

Strychinine is an alcaloid of plant origin and convulsive effect which has beenused in Costa Rica as a pesticide androdenticide, as well as adulterant in abused drugs. Its therapeutic use has been rejected. Poisoning with this substance is not common because n Costa Rica its use is currently restricted to the elimination of street dogs practiced by sanitary personnel. The symptons, basically neuroogic and cardiorespiratory, require clinical and laboratory analysis, according to the present review of recent literature. The main post-mortem findings are early rigor mortis and an asfictic syndrome. The records of the Forensic Pathology section of the Costa Rican Criminal Bureau only include, since 1990, two deaths caused by strychnine. The victims were women that presentd the mentioned rigor mortis, and the cause was corroborated by the scene of death and the laboratory. The diffculty of obtaining the substance explains the low frequency.

Keywords : Strychnine; suicide; pesticide; rigor mortis.

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