AuthorsTormey, W P
AffiliationDepartment of Biomedical Sciences, University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland, UK, email@example.com.
MetadataShow full item record
CitationCannabis, possible cardiac deaths and the coroner in Ireland. 2012:notIr J Med Sci
JournalIrish journal of medical science
AbstractBACKGROUND: The elevated risk of triggering a myocardial infarction by smoking cannabis is limited to the first 2 h after smoking. AIM: To examine the possible role of cannabis in cardiac deaths. CASES AND RESULTS: From 3,193 coroners' cases over 2 years, there were 13 cases where the clinical information was compatible with a primary cardiac cause of death. An inquest was held in three cases. Myocardial infarction was the primary cause of death in 54%. Other causes were sudden adult death syndrome, sudden death in epilepsy, and poisoning by alcohol and diazepam. Cannabis was mentioned once only on a death certificate, but not as a cause of death. Blood delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol-carboxylic acid was recorded in one case and in no case was plasma tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) measured. CONCLUSIONS: To attribute sudden cardiac death to cannabis, plasma THC should be measured in the toxicology screen in coroners' cases where urine cannabinoids are positive. A positive urine cannabinoids immunoassay alone is insufficient evidence in the linkage of acute cardiac death and cannabis.