1
$\begingroup$

In my crime thriller, one of my characters is killed while recovering from a subdural hematoma in the hospital. What kind of poison could be injected into her IV that would cause her organs to shut down and for her to die but that wouldn't render her unconscious. She should still be able to speak, before expiring? This poison shouldn't immediately show up on an autopsy but could be something a smart ME would find.

$\endgroup$
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Please can you explain how this question relates to wolrd building? $\endgroup$ – Slarty Dec 7 '17 at 0:09
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ What does this question have to do with worldbuilding? (It's a valid question, but in the wrong location!) $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Dec 7 '17 at 0:14
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Almost any medicine is poison if used inappropriately or in conjunction with certain other medications. This is really story building, though, not world building. Should probably be moved $\endgroup$ – pojo-guy Dec 7 '17 at 0:17
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Poisons in a hospital? Hit up the drug cabinet. I'm sure almost anything could be used... $\endgroup$ – Draco18s no longer trusts SE Dec 7 '17 at 4:05
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @Vylix Consider the meta discussion here. $\endgroup$ – kingledion Dec 7 '17 at 18:08
2
$\begingroup$

Succinylcholine is a possible candidate. It's a powerful paralytic, commonly used in surgery, that metabolizes quickly and leaves only very slight traces. Looks like heart failure to a pathologist who isn't specifically looking for death by poison.

Being a paralytic, the person would remain conscious, but incapable of moving. In high doses, it paralyzes the diaphragm, and the person suffocates. In clinical use, high doses of succinylcholine are accompanied by a respirator to breathe for the patient.

Of course, that would leave the person incapable of speaking, so it misses that part of your scenario.

However... this is authentic. Sux (as it is offen abbreviated) has been used in a couple of murders by people who have been trained in it's use. Only recently has a test been developed to find succinylcholine in a murder victim.

$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

Paracetamol in a high enough dosage causes the liver to shut down and can kill you in around a day or so. Most people take over the counter pain killers so unless the ME actually suspected poisoning by paracetamol, they wouldn't look for it.

You can even use lesser amounts to slowly destroy the liver over time.

See Acetaminophen Toxicity

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ If the liver shut down suddenly, standard blood work would pick up acetaminophen immediately, and would be one of the first things they'd check. Moreover, they'd pick it up before the patient actually died. Liver failure isn't something that sneaks up on you, and even if it killed you in a day it would be very obvious something was going wrong. $\endgroup$ – Keith Morrison Dec 9 '17 at 22:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.