Acute death from caustic ingestion is uncommon. We report an autopsy case of acute fatality from suicidal ingestion of a liquid caustic soda solution with peritoneal leakage due to a stab wound to the stomach. The victim was a 58-year-old man, who died about 1 h after being transported to a hospital emergency care unit. There were corrosive erosions around the mouth and a stab wound in the lower chest. The tongue, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, stomach and the proximal portion of the duodenum were all eroded and edematous. The stab wound perforated the diaphragm and stomach, accompanied by liquefactive corrosion in the left-lower thoracic and left-upper peritoneal cavities. There was a marked elevation of the postmortem serum sodium concentration and alkalosis. The observations suggested peritoneal absorption of leaked caustic soda solution, which may have greatly contributed to the acute fatality despite an intensive clinical life support.
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