skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 69733 Find in a Library
Title: Blunt Force Injury (From Medicolegal Investigation of Death, P 124-158, 1980, by Werner U Spitz and Russell S Fisher - See NCJ-69730)
Author(s): W U Spitz
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 35
Sponsoring Agency: Charles C. Thomas
Springfield, IL 62704
Sale Source: Charles C. Thomas
2600 South First Street
Springfield, IL 62704
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The identification of blunt force injury upon autopsy examination, as presented in a forensic pathology text, is discussed; contusion, abrasion, laceration, and skeletal injuries are emphasized.
Abstract: A sharp object cuts and divides the tissues as it penetrates, but a wound produced by blunt impact tears, shears, and crushes. Falls, collisions, or blows with a blunt instrument such as a hammer, brick, bat, fist, or pipe typically result in blunt force injury. Excessive bleeding into the adjacent soft tissues usually occurs. Hemorrhage of similar magnitude is practically never seen in the margins of cuts and stab wounds. The manifestations of blunt trauma differ depending on the force and the nature of the impact. The three recognized lesions are contusion, abrasion, and laceration. A contusion or bruise signifies hemorrhage into the impact. The three recognized lesions are contusion, abrasion, and laceration. A contusion or bruise signifies hemorrhage into the skin, the tissues under the skin, or both. It is usually the result of a blow or squeeze that crushes the soft tissues and ruptures blood vessels but does not break the skin. Examples include a black eye cause by a fistfight, scalp hemorrhage from a fall, and black and blue marks appearing after an arm has been squeezed tightly. Some bruises are patterned, and their recognition may help to reconstruct the circumstances of injury. The imprint of a steering column on the chest of an automobile driver is an example. An abrasion is due to scraping of the skin with removal of its superficial layers. It is frequently difficult to distinguish between an abrasion sustained during life from one sustained after death because bleeding does not usually occur due to the superficial nature of abrasion. Abrasions, like contusions, are often characteristically patterned. A laceration is a tear produced by blunt trauma. The force and direction determine appearance, depth, and associated injuries such as fractures. Injuries caused by hammer blows and bottles are examples of lacerations. Examination of skeletal injuries, particularly skull fractures, often reveals the type of violence involved. Extensive photographs and 10 references are included. For related documents, see NCJ 69731-32 and 69734-47.
Index Term(s): Autopsy; Criminal investigation; Fatalities; Forensic medicine; Homicide; Medicolegal considerations
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=69733

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.