Infant death presumably due to exertional self-overheating in bed: An autopsy case of suspected child abuse

B. L. Zhu, K. Ishida, M. Q. Fujita, H. Maeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We report a case of accidental infant death presumably due to exertional self-overheating in bed. On a winter morning, a 9-month-old female baby was found dead in her bed at home. She had been confined to the bed overnight by her father, totally covered with a blanket and a thick quilt, because her night crying disturbed his sleep. The clothing and bedclothes were extremely wet with sweat. Many petechial hemorrhages were observed in the upper chest and thoracic viscera. The blood was concentrated, indicative of dehydration. Histological and immunohistochemical investigation revealed findings of shock and myolysis in the cardiac and skeletal muscles. There was no evidence of natural diseases. The main cause of death was diagnosed as circulatory collapse from overheating (hyperpyrexia and dehydration; heat stroke/exhaustion) probably precipitated by struggling in the closed space. Although there was no apparent evidence of battering or any other repetitive physical violence, this case was regarded as an atypical type of fatal child abuse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-156
Number of pages4
JournalJapanese Journal of Legal Medicine
Volume52
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1998 Jul 18
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Child abuse
  • Forensic pediatrics
  • Heat stroke
  • Rhabdomyolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Law

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