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Characteristics of sudden bath-related death investigated by medical examiners in Tokyo, Japan.

Suzuki H, Hikiji W, Tanifuji T, Abe N, Fukunaga T - J Epidemiol (2014)

Bottom Line: However, the precise mechanism of bath-related death remains uncertain, and effective prevention strategies have not been established.From a preventive perspective, family members should pay attention to elderly people with circulatory system diseases during bathing, particularly in winter.Additionally, the notion that ill or inebriated individuals should not take baths should be reinforced.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Tokyo Medical Examiner's Office, Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

ABSTRACT

Background: Sudden bath-related deaths occur frequently in Japan, particularly among elderly people. However, the precise mechanism of bath-related death remains uncertain, and effective prevention strategies have not been established.

Methods: Cases of bath-related deaths (n = 3289) were selected from all cases handled by the Tokyo Medical Examiner's Office from 2009 to 2011 (N = 41 336). The ages and occurrence dates were examined, and major autopsy findings, including toxicological analysis, were evaluated for the autopsied cases (n = 550).

Results: Most cases occurred in individuals older than 60 years of age during winter. Analysis of autopsy findings revealed water inhalation signs in many cases (n = 435, 79.1%). Circulatory system diseases constituted more than half of the pathological findings regarding factors that may have contributed significantly to death (n = 300, 54.5%), and cardiac lesions were the most common pathological finding (n = 250, 45.5%). However, approximately one-third of the cases exhibited no remarkable pathological findings (n = 198, 36.0%). A quarter of all cases involved blood ethanol levels that exceeded 0.5 mg/mL (n = 140).

Conclusions: The results suggested that drowning plays an important role in the final process of bath-related death. Circulatory system diseases may be the primary underlying pathology; however, there were variations in the medical histories and pathologies of cases of bath-related death. From a preventive perspective, family members should pay attention to elderly people with circulatory system diseases during bathing, particularly in winter. Additionally, the notion that ill or inebriated individuals should not take baths should be reinforced.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Number of bath-related deaths and deaths in rivers/seas according to month
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fig03: Number of bath-related deaths and deaths in rivers/seas according to month

Mentions: The mean age of all cases of bath-related death (76.5 years for men and 79.6 years for women) was significantly higher than for cases of death from drowning in rivers/seas (57.1 years for men and 61.6 years for women; P < 0.01; Figure 2). A seasonal difference in occurrence dates was also evident. Death occurred more frequently in winter (Figure 3), and the number of deaths in winter months (from December through February; n = 1538) was 6.9 times higher than in the summer (from July to September; n = 222). The proportion of deaths occurring in winter (46.8%) was significantly greater among cases of bath-related death than among controls (20.3%; P < 0.01).


Characteristics of sudden bath-related death investigated by medical examiners in Tokyo, Japan.

Suzuki H, Hikiji W, Tanifuji T, Abe N, Fukunaga T - J Epidemiol (2014)

Number of bath-related deaths and deaths in rivers/seas according to month
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4310873&req=5

fig03: Number of bath-related deaths and deaths in rivers/seas according to month
Mentions: The mean age of all cases of bath-related death (76.5 years for men and 79.6 years for women) was significantly higher than for cases of death from drowning in rivers/seas (57.1 years for men and 61.6 years for women; P < 0.01; Figure 2). A seasonal difference in occurrence dates was also evident. Death occurred more frequently in winter (Figure 3), and the number of deaths in winter months (from December through February; n = 1538) was 6.9 times higher than in the summer (from July to September; n = 222). The proportion of deaths occurring in winter (46.8%) was significantly greater among cases of bath-related death than among controls (20.3%; P < 0.01).

Bottom Line: However, the precise mechanism of bath-related death remains uncertain, and effective prevention strategies have not been established.From a preventive perspective, family members should pay attention to elderly people with circulatory system diseases during bathing, particularly in winter.Additionally, the notion that ill or inebriated individuals should not take baths should be reinforced.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Tokyo Medical Examiner's Office, Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

ABSTRACT

Background: Sudden bath-related deaths occur frequently in Japan, particularly among elderly people. However, the precise mechanism of bath-related death remains uncertain, and effective prevention strategies have not been established.

Methods: Cases of bath-related deaths (n = 3289) were selected from all cases handled by the Tokyo Medical Examiner's Office from 2009 to 2011 (N = 41 336). The ages and occurrence dates were examined, and major autopsy findings, including toxicological analysis, were evaluated for the autopsied cases (n = 550).

Results: Most cases occurred in individuals older than 60 years of age during winter. Analysis of autopsy findings revealed water inhalation signs in many cases (n = 435, 79.1%). Circulatory system diseases constituted more than half of the pathological findings regarding factors that may have contributed significantly to death (n = 300, 54.5%), and cardiac lesions were the most common pathological finding (n = 250, 45.5%). However, approximately one-third of the cases exhibited no remarkable pathological findings (n = 198, 36.0%). A quarter of all cases involved blood ethanol levels that exceeded 0.5 mg/mL (n = 140).

Conclusions: The results suggested that drowning plays an important role in the final process of bath-related death. Circulatory system diseases may be the primary underlying pathology; however, there were variations in the medical histories and pathologies of cases of bath-related death. From a preventive perspective, family members should pay attention to elderly people with circulatory system diseases during bathing, particularly in winter. Additionally, the notion that ill or inebriated individuals should not take baths should be reinforced.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus