Publication Details (including relevant citation information):
Schaff, Karas, and Marinetti, "A Gas Chromatography–Thermal Conductivity Detection Method for Helium Detection in Postmortem Blood and Tissue Specimens", Journal of Analytical Toxicology, v. 36,112–115, 2012.
In cases of death by inert gas asphyxiation, it can be difficult to obtain toxicological evidence supporting assignment of a cause of death. Because of its low mass and high diffusivity, and its common use as a carrier gas, helium presents a particular challenge in this respect. We describe a rapid and simple gas chromatography– thermal conductivity detection method to qualitatively screen a variety of postmortem biological specimens for the presence of helium. Application of this method is demonstrated with three case examples, encompassing an array of different biological matrices.
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