The aim of this study was to analyze the presence of alcohol in individuals (137) that were subjected to a mandatory medico-legal autopsy in the Institute of Legal Medicine of Las Palmas (Canary Islands, Spain) during 2015. Blood and vitreous humor samples (232) were analyzed by gas chromatography. 46.0% of the individuals were positive for alcohol, being half of them tourists. Blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) was higher in men over 60 years (p = 0.041). 10.2% of the series died in a traffic accident, and victims had the highest proportion of positives to alcohol (64.3%) and the highest BAC (2.56 g/L, p = 0.048). The BAC:VHAC (alcohol in vitreous humor) ratio was higher among victims of traffic crashes (p = 0.036), suggesting a short elapsed interval between the alcohol intake and the fatal accident. The results of this study indicate that ethanol is still heavily involved in non-natural deaths.
Keywords: Blood alcohol concentration; Canary islands; Forensic sciences; Tourist region; Traffic accidents; Vitreous humor alcohol concentration.
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