[MARMAM] new publication

Yara Bernaldo de Quirós Miranda yarabdq at gmail.com
Thu Nov 1 08:54:48 PDT 2012

Dear Colleagues,

In a recent publication, we showed the amount and composition of gas
bubbles found in stranded marine mammals:

Bernaldo De Quirós, Y., González-Diaz, O., Arbelo, M., Sierra, E.,
Sacchini, S., and Fernández, A. (2012). Decompression vs. Decomposition:
Distribution, Amount, and Gas Composition of Bubbles in Stranded Marine
Mammals. Frontiers in Physiology 3.

This time we are glad to announce a new publication, where environmental
and individual variables were control to the maximum extent possible using
animal models, enabling us to establish the statistical differences between
putrefaction gases compared to atmospheric air embolism and gases produced
by decompression:

Bernaldo De Quirós, Y., González-Díaz, O., Møllerløkken, A., Brubakk, A.O.,
Hjelde, A., Saavedra, P., and Fernández, A. (2012). Differentiation at
autopsy between in vivo gas embolism and putrefaction using gas composition
analysis. International Journal of Legal Medicine. DOI:

The article is available from:



Gas embolism can arise from different causes (iatrogenic accidents,
criminal interventions, or diving related accidents). Gas analyses have
been shown to be a valid technique to differentiate between putrefaction
gases and gas embolism. In this study, we performed systematic necropsies

at different postmortem times in three experimental New Zealand White
Rabbits models: control or putrefaction, infused air embolism, and
compression/decompression. The purpose of this study was to look for
qualitative and quantitative differences among groups and to observe how
putrefaction gases mask in vivo gas embolism. We found that the infused air
embolism and compression/decompression models had a similar gas composition
prior to 27-h postmortem, being typically composed of around 70–80 % of N2 and
20–30 % of CO2, although unexpected

higher CO2 concentrations were found in some decompressed animals, putting
in question the role of CO2 in decompression. All these samples were
statistically and significantly different from more decomposed samples. Gas
composition of samples from more decomposed animals and from the
putrefaction model presented hydrogen, which was therefore considered as a
putrefaction marker.


Prof. Antonio Fernández

PhD Yara Bernaldo de Quirós
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