Ligature Strangulation

Ligature Marks Strangulation

In ligature strangulation, the pressure on the neck is applied by a constricting band that is tightened by a force other than the body weight. Virtually all cases of ligature strangulation are homicides. In the authors' experience, ligature strangulation is the most common method of homicidal asphyxia, though the incidence of manual strangulation follows fairly closely. In a study of 133 homicides caused by asphyxia, ligature strangulation accounted for 48 of the deaths manual strangulation for...

Stab Wounds from Weapons Other than Knives

When an individual is stabbed with an implement other than a knife, the stab wound may have a characteristic appearance because of the unusual nature of the weapon. Because ice picks are no longer common household objects, ice pick wounds are rarely seen nowadays. Ice picks produce small, round, or slit-like wounds that can be easily missed or confused with wounds caused by .22-caliber bullets or shotgun pellets Figure 7.8 . A single ice pick wound might be missed on a cursory examination of a...

Stab Wounds by Anatomical Location

Lethal Knife Wounds

Most fatal stab wounds are located in the left chest region. Among a number of explanations is that most people are right handed and, when facing a victim, will tend to stab the left chest. In addition, if the intention is to kill someone, one would stab in the left chest where the heart is thought to be. Most fatal stab wounds of the chest involve injury to the heart or aorta. Deaths due solely to a stab wound of the lung are less common. Fatal stab wounds of the right chest usually involve...

Methamphetamine and Amphetamine

Methamphetamine is a potent CNS stimulant that is readily produced illicitly.14,18 In the brain, it acts by both increasing release of dopamine and blocking its re-absorption, causing hyperstimulation of receptor neurons. Methamphetamine is also a cardiovascular stimulant. It blocks re-uptake of norepinephrine and causes an increase in catecholamine release. The euphoric effect is similar to cocaine but may last as long as ten times that of cocaine. Methamphetamine is metabolized to...

Battered Baby Syndrome

Battered Baby Syndrome

The battered baby syndrome refers to a condition characterized by repeated intentional acts of trauma to a young child inflicted at the slightest or most trivial provocation. Deprivation of food and water is a variant of this trauma. Classically, the child presents to a physician or an emergency room with an acute injury accompanied by evidence of both old and recent bruises, fractures, and other injuries. There might be skull or extremity fractures, ruptured viscera, subdural hematomas, or...

The Living Rape Victim

Vagina Rape Victim

Rape presents a unique problem to physician clinicians in that they often inherit the burden of not only treatment, but proper collection of evidence. For the correct handling of rape cases, both medically and legally, there must be coordination between the physicians examining the victims and the police agency with jurisdiction. It is preferable that victims of rape be examined at one central hospital by experienced physicians trained in the handling and treatment of such patients and in the...

Fractures of the Skull

Basilar Skull Fracture

The second type of injury that can be incurred is to the skull. In general, whenever a head is either struck with or strikes an object having a broad flat surface area, the skull at the point of impact flattens out to conform to the shape of the surface against which it impacts. As the skull is flattened and bent inward, adjacent, but more distant areas, are bent outward by a wave of deformation consisting of the central area of inbending and the peripheral outbending Figure 6.1 2,3 This...