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Medicina Legal de Costa Rica

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


GONZALEZ GAITAN, Tatiana. Acute chest syndrome due to sickle cell disease as a cause of sudden death: Case report and literature review. Med. leg. Costa Rica [online]. 2024, vol.41, n.1, pp.3-12. ISSN 2215-5287.


To correlate the findings of the medical legal autopsy carried out with the updated and available generalities of the pathophysiology of sickle cell anemia.

Materials and methods:

The analysis of the protocol of the medical-legal autopsy carried out, and a bibliographic review, were carried out. A 37-year-old female who apparently suffered from “sciatic nerve pain,” who died in her home after experiencing intense pain located in her back and dyspnea. After the medical-legal autopsy, acute chest syndrome due to sickle cell disease was established as the cause of death.


Sickle cell anemia must be kept in mind at the time of the medical-legal evaluation as a possible cause of death, for this it is necessary to know the pathophysiology of this disease, and to be able to identify these effects when performing the Medical- Legal Autopsy, for this It is necessary to have all the possible tools to be able to make an accurate diagnosis.

Keywords : Acute Chest Syndrome; Autopsy; Forensic Medicine; Anemia; Sickle Cell..

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