University of Oulu

Lunetta, P., Kriikku, P., Tikka, J. et al. Fatal α-PVP and amphetamine poisoning during a sauna and autoerotic practices. Forensic Sci Med Pathol 16, 493–497 (2020).

Fatal α-PVP and amphetamine poisoning during a sauna and autoerotic practices

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Author: Lunetta, Philippe1,2; Kriikku, Pirkko3,4; Tikka, Julius5;
Organizations: 1Department of Biomedicine, Forensic Medicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
2Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Forensic Toxicology Unit, Helsinki, Finland
4Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
5Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Forensic Medicine Unit, Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-03-26


We describe the sudden death of a middle-aged man while having a sauna under the influence of α-pyrrolidinovalerophenone (α-PVP) (PM blood concentration: 0.8 mg/L), amphetamine (0.34 mg/L), and other drugs (buprenorphine, benzodiazepines), and engaging in solitary sexual activities. The drugs’ effects on the cardio-circulatory system and on body thermoregulation combined with the high temperatures are likely to have been central mechanisms leading to death. The high levels of adrenaline triggered by sexual arousal and the respiratory depression caused by buprenorphine, in association with benzodiazepines, may have also contributed to his death. This previously unreported type of accidental autoerotic death illustrates the risk of using amphetamine-like sympathomimetic drugs (e.g. cathinone derivates) in hot environments such as a sauna, and during sexual activities therein.

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Series: Forensic science, medicine, and pathology
ISSN: 1547-769X
ISSN-E: 1556-2891
ISSN-L: 1547-769X
Volume: 16
Issue: 3
Pages: 493 - 497
DOI: 10.1007/s12024-020-00236-1
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 319 Forensic science and other medical sciences
Funding: Open access funding provided by University of Turku (UTU) including Turku University Central Hospital.
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