International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 133, Issue 2, pp 561–564 | Cite as

Death by anaphylactic shock in an institution: an accident or negligence?

  • Sandra BurkhardtEmail author
  • Pia Genet
  • Sara Sabatasso
  • Romano La Harpe
Case Report


This is a description of a man, institutionalised for learning difficulties, known to have an allergy to seafood. After eating a pie, the patient quickly developed dyspnoea and vomiting. The staff at the institution administered epinephrine and called the emergency services. Despite cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the patient died shortly after being admitted to the emergency department of the University Hospitals of Geneva. In the light of the circumstances of the death and of a discrepancy between the information given to the police by the staff at the institution looking after the patient on the one hand, and the preliminary elements of the investigation on the other hand, it was suspected that there was failure in care of the patient and our institute was asked to carry out an autopsy. Basing on all the investigations carried out, the cause of death was anaphylactic reaction following the ingestion of seafood, contrary to what had been alleged by the staff at the home.


Anaphylaxis Seafood Death 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University Center of Legal MedicineGeneva 4Switzerland

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