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Vol. 19 - Num. 73

Brief Reports

Uncommon intoxications: review and legal framework

Amparo Arroyo Fernándeza, Antonia Bertomeu Ruiza

aInstituto de Medicina Legal de Cataluña. Barcelona. España.

Correspondence: A Arroyo. E-mail:

Reference of this article: Arroyo Fernández A, Bertomeu Ruiz A. Uncommon intoxications: review and legal framework. Rev Pediatr Aten Primaria. 2017;19:e27-e39.

Published in Internet: 08-02-2017 - Visits: 8594


Introduction: the intoxications are a branch of medical care where variable evolution and causing agents and diagnostics are generally known. However, there are complex cases that require environmental, analytical or epidemiological studies that are difficult to identify and treat.

The aims of the study are to comment the less frequent intoxications and its transcendence and significance and indicate the legal framework to be followed when required.

Material and methods: the database Medline and articles published referred to less frequent poisonings were consulted, as those related to electrolyte disturbances or glucose, those related to Münchhausen syndrome by proxy and others such as those arising heavy metals, disinfectants or ingestion of energy drinks in adolescence. The interference and impact of drugs of abuse in the prenatal stage, infancy and childhood is evaluated.

Conclusions: the legal significance in cases where the etiology of poisoning is not accidental but due to negligence, mistreatment and when they can result in injury or homicide are commented. Guidelines to be followed by physicians or those who are aware of the case and and the intervention of forensic doctors when cases requiring judicial intervention are described. The importance of taking biological, which is fundamental to the issue of a pericial report, is highlighted. Finally, judicial authority shall determine whether to follow a procedure to define responsibilities, adopt sanitary measures and rule on the legal protection of children affected in the event of non-accidental poisonings.


Abuse drugs Legal medicine Poisoning



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