UCT is recognized for its support for the forensic toxicology community not only domestically, but abroad. This is demonstrated in a new article published in the journal Toxicologie Analytique & Clinique authored by Dr.J Long et al.,(http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.toxac.2016.11.003 2352-0078). In this paper, the authors utilize UCT’s famous Clean Screen ® DAU solid phase extraction column (ZSDAU020) to extract drugs of abuse from post mortem blood samples. 

Deaths due to self-administration of intravenous anesthetic/narcotic agents are rare based on the difficulty encountered when trying to obtain this type of product. Most of the cases are observed in hospitals or among hospital workers. Manner of death reported for such cases is suicide for a large majority, but the potent respiratory depressant effect of the drugs can also lead to accidental deaths. In this case, a male subject was found in cardio-respiratory arrest in the toilet of a hospital. He was immediately taken to the intensive care unit where resuscitation was attempted for 45 minutes. The day following the death, autopsy was performed and revealed multiple fresh and older puncture marks on the thighs and arms. After autopsy, the forensic toxicology laboratory received samples of peripheral and cardiac blood, urine, vitreous humor, hair. Solid phase extraction was performed on blood samples followed by various chromatographic techniques to screen and quantitate the drugs present in blood samples. Toxicological analysis of peripheral blood revealed the presence of remifentanil, fentanyl, midazolam, tramadol, codeine, and amiodarone. Quantification of remifentanil was performed in peripheral and cardiac blood by using Clean Screen® DAU ZSDAU020. Remifentanil is a very short acting fentanyl analogue rapidly metabolized by esterases. Due to its very short half-life of 6 to 16 minutes and is almost never found in postmortem blood. Remifentanil can cause death even at therapeutic levels if not administered properly. This is believed to be the first report of a concentration of remifentanil in postmortem blood.   Click here for  further information regarding Clean Screen sorbents and applications.