Trigemino-Cardiac Reflex as Lethal Mechanism in a Suicidal Fire Death Case

Riccardo Rossi, Fabio De Giorgio, Fidelia Cascini, Maria Lodise, Massimo Lancia, Mauro Bacci

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3 Citations (Scopus)


In the vast majority of immediate fire deaths, the mechanism of death is inhalation of toxic gases (especially carbon monoxide), direct thermal injury, or neurogenic shock due to the redistribution of the body's blood volume produced by surface heat on the skin. We present a suicidal case that is unusual because the mechanism of immediate fire death could arguably be explained in terms of a primitive autonomic reflex/the trigemino-cardiac reflex. Although this reflex is well known to surgeons and anesthetists, with possible lethal consequences in the course of invasive surgical procedures on the head and neck region, it is much less familiar to forensic pathologists.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)N/A-N/A
JournalJournal of Forensic Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • fire death
  • forensic pathology
  • forensic science
  • neurogenic death
  • trigemino-cardiac reflex


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