Epilepsy and bathtub drowning. Important neuropathological observations

Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 1993 Jun;14(2):125-9. doi: 10.1097/00000433-199306000-00004.


Drowning is a well-recognized cause of death in persons with epilepsy. Investigation of bathtub drowning is often not straightforward. We report three cases of bathtub water drowning of patients with neuropathological bases for seizures. The importance of neuropathological examination is discussed. A high index of suspicion is required for all cases of bathtub-related death, even in the absence of history of previous seizure disorders. Neuropathological examination must be performed to look for anatomical lesions associated with seizures. Identification of these findings could be very helpful in ruling out homicide or suicide as the cause of death in bathtub drownings.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Caudate Nucleus / pathology
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drowning / pathology*
  • Epilepsy / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / pathology