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Schuppener LM, Corliss RF. 
“Death Due to Complications of Bowel Obstruction Following Raw Poppy Seed Ingestion”. 
J Forensic Sci. 2017 May 25.
Abstract
Eating poppy seeds can cause a positive urine drug screen, but it is unknown whether ingesting large quantities can result in opiate intoxication or toxicity. A 54-year-old woman with intractable vomiting was found unresponsive at home and later pronounced dead. At autopsy, a cast-like large bowel obstruction composed of poppy seeds was identified. Postmortem blood morphine level was < 10 ng/mL. Cause of death was determined to be complications of a bowel obstruction secondary to poppy seed ingestion. Deaths related to eating poppy seeds have not been described in the literature. This case illustrates that consuming raw poppy seeds in large quantities did not cause lethal opiate toxicity. However, overdose deaths associated with ingesting poppy seed tea (PST) have been described. Poppy seed derivatives should be considered a potential source in cases of opiate toxicity without evidence of prescription or street drug abuse.

2017 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.



Key Words: Papaver somniferum ; bowel obstruction; codeine; forensic science; morphine; poppy seed tea; poppy seeds
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