Ironically, those same wonder drugs can become instruments of death when their mechanisms of action are used in an ill-intended fashion. An example of such a sinister effect includes the misuse of the entire class of coagulant drugs.
Coagulant drugs are those that cause blood to clot, essentially preventing excessive bleeding. These drugs specifically effect the coagulation of blood when bleeding is uncontrolled to prevent further blood loss. The cause could be a sudden trauma, such as an accident; or it could be from a bleeding disorder, such as hemophilia.
Whatever the cause of the excessive bleeding, the ominous blood loss is stopped and normal clotting initiates as a result of three general types of drugs: Blood products (such as clotting factors), injectable Vitamin K or a number of antifibrinolytic drugs.
Each of these drugs helps regulate blood coagulation and saves lives in the process. But, when there is no essential need, the use of these drugs causes excessive coagulation of blood and creates life-threatening blood clots that circulate within the body’s blood vessels searching for tissue to destroy.
An artificially created blood clot could be fatal if it lodged in the heart, lungs or the brain, creating either a heart attack, a pulmonary embolism or a stroke—any of which could be deadly if the clot were large enough to cut off blood flow to a vital organ.
So, where is that murder aspect I spoke about initially—the sinister part? Well, it’s really very simple. Coagulant drugs are readily available in any hospital pharmacy, from certain pharmaceutical manufacturers and from many drug wholesalers. Misdirect a vial of one of these life-saving medications and inject a healthy dose into a normal individual with no bleeding issues, and you have a perfect murder scene.
About now, you should be questioning if the injection would leave trace evidence. Well, Vitamin K and certain blood-clotting factors would be the least likely since they’re already present in a normal person’s chemistry, but admittedly the levels would be elevated. Therefore, you’d have to use some imagination to create a much more believable scene, something with a blood clot as a possible outcome.
Many studies indicate that high altitudes and remaining sedentary for long periods of time—such as travel on an international flight, for example—can create the perfect storm for a deep vein thrombosis—a blood clot, commonly referred to as a DVT. It happens more often than one would think on long flights. In fact, it happens so much more than one would imagine that each seat pocket has instructions for stretching and exercising the legs during a long flight to prevent DVTs.
So if you need to kill off one of your characters in an unusual manner, have your victim take a long international flight. An accidental bump into the shoulder of the victim by an attacker and a quick injection of a lethal dose of Vitamin K would insure a very painful and deadly outcome for your victim by the time the plane could land.
Thoughts? Comments? I’d love to hear them!