Aim: The aim of this study is to describe the characteristics of medico-legal autopsies of fatal poisonings in the south Marmara region, Turkey, in the period of 1996-2003, in order to provide further data for the characterisation of fatal poisonings, because there is a scarcity of such information from Turkey.
Methods: Of the 4242 autopsied cases, 415 (9.8%) deaths due to poisonings were examined; 26.8% females and 73.2% males. The mean age was 40.1±19.2 years old (range 0-88).
Results: The three most common types of poison were carbon monoxide (43.5%), insecticides (24.6%), and alcohol (18.4%). The most frequent unnatural manner of death was accidents (67.5%), followed by suicidal (27.5%) deaths. Insecticides were the cause in 71.9% of suicidal poisonings, whereas the cause was carbon monoxide in 63.2%, and alcohol in %27.1% of the unintentional poisonings. The deaths due to carbon monoxide were associated with coal stoves (48.3%), water heaters in bath (31.1%), and fires (17.8%). Organophosphorus insecticides were responsible for 91.1% of total insecticide poisonings. 73.7% of the alcohol poisonings were observed in years 2000-2002, and of the methyl alcohol poisoning, 35.9% and 29.7% were seen in years 2001 and 2002, respectively. Therapeutic drugs were encountered most frequently (75%).
Conclusion: In conclusion, in fatal poisoning cases who have undergone medico-legal autopsy in Bursa and province, CO is of great ratio