Journal of
Clinical Pathology and Forensic Medicine

  • Abbreviation: J. Clin. Pathol. Forensic Med.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2405
  • DOI: 10.5897/JCPFM
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 29

Full Length Research Paper

Fatal meat aspiration: A report of three cases and review of the literature

M. Ben Dhiab*, M. Jdidi, N. Ben Mansour and M. K. Souguir
Department of Forensic Medicine, UHC Farhat HACHED, University of Sousse, Sousse, Tunisia.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 09 November 2012
  •  Published: 31 December 2012


Acute respiratory obstruction can cause sudden death, but usually the cause is obvious. The one situation that stands out in this area has been called the "cafe coronary". In adults, cafe coronary deaths occur in individuals who are either clinically inebriated or have clinically significant neuro-muscular dysfunction. In this report, we will present the sudden unexpected death of three adults that were first thought to be due to coronary heart disease, but however autopsy findings revealed-larynx obstruction by meat. The mechanism of death was complete airway obstruction resulting in asphyxiation due to the meat being glued to the larynx. In the three cases, the victims died during or a short time after a meal. The main factors contributing to cafe coronary death are occluding material such as meat, excessive intake of alcohol as well as poor fitness.


Key words: Asphyxia, aspiration, meat, clinically, cafe coronary.