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Survivor from asphyxiation due to helium inhalation

Massimiliano Etteri, Andrea Bellone, Morena Vella, Eleonora Capiaghi, Luca Motta, Ilaria Malfasi
  • Massimiliano Etteri
    Emergency Department, Sant’Anna Hospital, San Fermo della Battaglia (CO), Italy | max.etteri@alice.it
  • Andrea Bellone
    Emergency Department, Sant’Anna Hospital, San Fermo della Battaglia (CO), Italy
  • Morena Vella
    Emergency Department, Sant’Anna Hospital, San Fermo della Battaglia (CO), Italy
  • Eleonora Capiaghi
    Emergency Department, Sant’Anna Hospital, San Fermo della Battaglia (CO), Italy
  • Luca Motta
    Emergency Department, Sant’Anna Hospital, San Fermo della Battaglia (CO), Italy
  • Ilaria Malfasi
    Emergency Department, Sant’Anna Hospital, San Fermo della Battaglia (CO), Italy

Abstract

In this rare case report we describe a 27- year-old white man survived to suicide by asphyxiation using the so-called suicide bag (or exit bag) filled with helium supplied through a plastic tube. He had no previous psychiatric or organic illnesses. At the time of presentation to our Emergency Department he was awake and reported severe dyspnea with a clinical pattern of acute respiratory failure. Imaging studies showed pulmonary edema and the patient was treated with non-invasive ventilation in Intensive Care Unit. After 15 days the patient was discharged from hospital in optimal conditions. These rare cases of survivor might suggest the possible causes of death from inhaling helium.

Keywords

Asphyxiation; Helium inhalation; Suicide

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Submitted: 2015-10-21 19:19:19
Published: 2016-06-15 12:43:31
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Copyright (c) 2016 Massimiliano Etteri, Andrea Bellone, Morena Vella, Eleonora Capiaghi, Luca Motta, Ilaria Malfasi

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