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Cuadernos de Medicina Forense

versión On-line ISSN 1988-611Xversión impresa ISSN 1135-7606


MARTIN CAZORLA, F.; SANTOS AMAYA, I.M.  y  LOPEZ GARCIA, M.. Psychomotor agitation and forensic implications. Cuad. med. forense [online]. 2011, vol.17, n.3, pp.111-117. ISSN 1988-611X.

Observations carried out by forensic experts over the last 15 years lead us to the recognition of a new syndrome that can take to a sudden and unexpected death. Death caused by psychomotor agitation is generally accompanied by a restriction procedure carried out by security forces, private security or hospital staff. It entails that this death can be classified within the group of deaths in deprivation of liberty or deaths in custody. The frequency of this condition, remarkable for the strange circumstances in which it occurs, is growing as one of their major risk factors such as drugs, primarily cocaine, increases dramatically in today's society. Therefore, based on the hypothesis that psychomotor agitation due to toxic or psychiatric origin can end in the death of the subject after a prolonged retention as well as some of the subjects suffering from psychomotor agitation are admitted to hospital during or after this episode, our goal was to perform a descriptive study using a sample of 31 cases requiring medical attention in the Poniente Hospital between 2003 and 2005. This sample was divided into two subgroups: • Patients with psychomotor agitation and positive toxic qualitative analysis and, • Patients with psychomotor agitation and negative toxic qualitative analysis. A comparative study was carried out between the two different groups, statistically analyzing different variables to determine the influence of psychoactive drugs in the state of psychomotor agitation. Results highlight the lack of data in medical records, the small numbers of studies related to the topic and no statistically significant differences between patients with psychomotor agitation and toxic consumption of those who have not recently consumed.

Palabras clave : Psychomotor agitation; Cocaine; Excited delirium; Deaths in custody.

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