Copper toxicity following massive ingestion of coins

G. Yelin, M. L. Taff, G. E. Sadowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Two hundred seventy-five United States coins were discovered in the stomach of a mentally disturbed individual at autopsy. Many coins containing copper were corroded by prolonged contact with gastric juice, with subsequent absorption and deposition of copper in the liver and kidneys. The patient died from complications related to the acute toxic phase of chronic copper poisoning. A discussion of the case, foreign-body ingestion, gastric bezoars and the mechanism of copper toxicity is presented. To our knowledge, this is the first death due to copper intoxication following a massive ingestion of coins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-85
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes


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