Death from minor head trauma and alcohol. Academic Article uri icon


  • Sudden death in association with minor or otherwise insignificant head injury is increasingly being recognised in the forensic medical literature. While the exact mechanism of the cardiorespiratory arrest that appears to occur in these cases is unclear, a number of mechanisms have been postulated. Animal studies have provided evidence that alcohol can be associated with an increased period of apnoea following minor physical brain injury and cardiac changes have also been identified. The limited information in the community about the risk of alcohol in association with minor head injury causing death may be relevant in homicide cases where this issue is raised.

publication date

  • March 1, 2011