Coprophagic Asphyxiation in an Intellectually Disabled Woman

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Abstract

The ingestion of one's own feces is referred to as coprophagia. In this report, the author discusses a case of coprophagia-associated death in a 36-year-old woman. The woman had a history of intellectual disability, bipolar disorder, and schizoaffective disorder and was living in a group home. At autopsy, examination of the upper airway revealed 4 distinct spherical boli of impacted fecal matter in the oral cavity and pharynx. Death was attributed to asphyxia due to aspiration of stool bolus during an episode of coprophagia. This is now the second reported case of coprophagic-related death, illustrating the need for careful monitoring of eating activities in individuals with mental disorders.

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