Go The concept of the poison. Conditions for the occurrence of poisoning | Forensic Medicine

Concept of poison

Poison is a substance that, when introduced into the human body in small quantities, acting by chemical or physico-chemical means, causes health disorder or death. The disease caused by such a substance is called poisoning. The health disorder caused by various toxic substances developed in the body itself, for example, as a result of metabolic disorders, is not poisoning in the above understanding of this term.

Some poisonous substances in microdoses have long been used in medical practice as medicinal substances and the State Pharmacopoeia they are listed as "A" . In addition, there is a group of potent drugs, the use of which in high doses or by unlawful means may cause harm to human health. These substances are included in the list "B". The production, acquisition, storage, accounting, vacation, transportation or shipment of such substances are governed by special rules, the violation of which can be followed by disciplinary, administrative and criminal liability.


The largest number of poisonings is caused by several main groups of chemicals. In the first place are poisoning with ethyl alcohol and its substitutes, then go poisoning with poisonous gases (mainly carbon monoxide), acids and alkalis , drugs, pesticides, various solvents (mainly dichloroethane). Poisoning with other chemicals, as well as poisonous plants and food poisoning are quite rare. In about one percent of all poisonings, the nature of the poisonous substance that led to death remains unknown. At the present level of knowledge, this indicator is high and indicates the need to improve the forensic medical examination of poisoning.

  • Origin of the poisoning
  • Conditions that determine the toxic effect of chemicals
  • Pathways and effects of poison in the body (toxicodynamics and toxicokinetics)
  • The outcome of the poisoning
  • Control questions
    1. What substances are poisonous and potent?
    2. Give a description of the forensic classification of poisons.
    3. What are the mechanisms of toxic action of poisons?
    4. Describe the concept of "toxicity of a substance."
    5. What is the fate of poisons in the human body?
    6. What are the course and outcome of poisoning?
    7. What are the conditions that determine the degree of toxic action of chemicals?
    8. What are the routes of administration of toxic substances in the human body?
    9. What are the most typical conditions for the occurrence of poisoning.
    10. How is the fact of poisoning and the poisonous substance itself established in cases of death of persons under treatment?