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Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.622
Citation Impact (citeScore): 1
Number of Followers: 416  
 
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1752-928X
Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3185 journals]
  • Claims about medical malpractices resulting in neonatal and maternal
           impairment in Iran in 2 years
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 15 June 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Ziba Taghizadeh, Maryam Pourbakhtiar, Khadijeh Azimi, Masoud Ghadipasha, Kamran Soltani BackgroundToday even low incidence of complications for mothers or neonates during pregnancy, delivery or postpartum is unacceptable to the public and can result in claims because of greater expectation from patients and an increase in media coverage. The present study was conducted to investigate the reasons for medical malpractice claims on maternal and neonatal impairment, which are achieved in Iranian Legal Medicine Organization councils.Materials and MethodsThe present cross-sectional and retrospective study used convenience sampling to collect data of total claims from 31 provinces archived in the supreme council of the ILMO in 2 years. In this article, the medical malpractice claims on maternal and neonatal impairment during pregnancy, labour, delivery and early postpartum were reported. The data were collected through a validated researcher-made checklist and were analyzed in SPSS 16.ResultsAmong total of 299 cases of impairment, cerebral palsy (33.34%), Erb's palsy due to shoulder dystocia (24.24%) and Down Syndrome (24.24%) were the main confirmed causes of malpractice for neonatal impairment and Retained Surgical Mass (20.5%), Salpingectomy and/or Oophorectomy Related to EP (17.2%), Hysterectomy (17.2%) and Episiotomy Related complication (17.2%) were the main confirmed causes of malpractice for maternal impairment.ConclusionConsidering this fact that medical malpractice was confirmed in a large proportion of some preventable and important complications, therefore, results of this study can be used for developing educational programs for related healthcare providers to prevent those complications.
       
  • Fashion for a reason: Oral jewellery to aid forensic odontology
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 15 June 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Farrukh Farrukh, Scheila Mânica Jewellery along with other personal effects have been used for human identification and acknowledged in the INTERPOL (The International Criminal Police Organization) DVI (disaster victim identification) forms. It is hypothesised that modified oral jewellery has scope haas a unique personal effect that can be used in combination with other identifiers. The main aim of this study was to investigate the opinions on the use of modified tooth/oral jewellery items among 90 subjects. The secondary aim was to create and suggest an elaborated oral charting system to document oral jewellery and tooth modifications and respective abbreviations. A number of 30 dental students, 30 dentists and 30 designers/tattoo & piercing artists (groups G1, G2 and G3) responded to online closed-ended surveys (versions V1, V2 and V3). As results, G1 considered jewellery ‘fashion/contemporary’ (77%), unique and accepted the idea of wearing a customised oral jewellery (equally 47%). G2 considered oral jewellery as ‘disgusting/vile fashion’ (46.66%), unique (60%) and person’ (60%). 53% accepted the idea of presenting oral jewellery to their patients. G3 associated it to ‘a sign of rebellion’ (53.3%), unique (40%) and accepted the idea of making customised oral jewellery (50%)Preferable designs were tooth jewel (G1), implant with Hallmark (G2) and fixed tooth ring (G3). As conclusions, oral jewellery and piercings are highly acceptable by the dental students but the uniqueness of oral jewellery was more recognized by the dentists. Modified oral jewellery has been fairly accepted among all but the design varied. A recording of those by the dentist could potentially aid in forensic dental identifications. Therefore, an elaborated oral charting system to document oral jewellery and tooth modifications and respective abbreviations were also suggested to grant a useful reason to this fashion.
       
  • Digital restoration of fragmentary human skeletal remains: Testing the
           feasibility of virtual reality
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 14 June 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Mikoláš Jurda, Petra Urbanová, Jiří Chmelík Experts in forensic anthropology and medicine have become gradually accustomed to examining components of the human body in the virtual workspace. While the computer-assisted approach offers numerous benefits, the interactions with digital three-dimensional biological objects are often problematic, particularly if conducted with mouse, keyboard and flat-panel screen. The study focusses on feasibility of a virtual reality (VR) system for virtual restoration of fragmentary skeletal remains.The VR system was confronted with three cases of fragmentary remains. The cases were reassembled manually by twenty participants using a HTC Vive headset combined with an in-house application A.R.T. The same task was performed using a CloudCompare software in conjunction with a desktop peripheral. The two systems were compared in terms of time efficiency, the geometric properties of the resulting restorations, and convenience of use.Restoration using the VR system took approximately half the time the desktop set-up did. The VR system also yielded a lower error rate when a severely fragmented skull was reassembled. Ultimately, although the efficiency of the reassembling was shown to be strongly dependent on the operator's experience, the use of the VR system balanced out the uneven levels of proficiency in computer graphics.The current generation of virtual reality headsets has a strong potential to facilitate and improve tasks relating to the virtual restoration of fragmented skeletal remains. A VR system offers an intuitive digital working environment which is less affected by an operator's computer skills and practical understanding of the technology than the desktop systems are.
       
  • The persistent problem of drowning - A difficult diagnosis with
           inconclusive tests
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 June 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Lilli Stephenson, Corinna Van den Heuvel, Roger W. Byard Although the diagnosis of drowning may appear straightforward the reality is that it is sometimes one of the most difficult in forensic pathology. To begin with, there is no universal agreement on what constitutes drowning with some definitions using the term in the absence of a lethal outcome. Next are the significant problems that arise in finding immersed bodies and in assessing the death scene. Prolonged post mortem intervals are associated with artefactual modifications of the body from putrefaction and post mortem animal predation. Both of these may create and disguise injuries. The absence of pathognomonic pathological features at autopsy and the presence of potentially life threatening underlying organic illnesses complicate determination of both the cause and manner of death. There may even be no autopsy findings to indicate that immersion had occurred. Finally, the unreliability of laboratory tests with significant overlap with control cases where death had no association with immersion presents further problems. Thus lethal drowning remains a complex event that requires the use of a wide variety of information sources, not just data gleaned from the dissection table.
       
  • Lactobacillus DNA usage in defrrentiation of normal vaginal fluids in
           premenauposal and post menopausal females
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 June 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Shimaa Ahmed Alsaeed, Abeer Ahmed Zayed, Mohamed Adly Mohamed, Mokhtar Fathy Abdel-Satar, Walaa Ibrahim The presence of vaginal fluid as a bio-stain in the crime scene of sexual assaults provides pivotal evidence. The vaginal secretions are known to be rich in Lactobacillus; hence the current work aims to identify vaginal secretions via detection and quantification of Lactobacillus DNA in pre and postmenopausal females and to test its stability over storage time using Critical Threshold method applied by Polymerase chain reaction approach. Comparative study is done by Critical Threshold and Relative Expression methods aiming to evaluate the two methods. Results showed that (ΔCT)
       
  • The experiences of sexually assaulted people attending Saint Mary's Sexual
           Assault Referral Centre for a forensic medical examination
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 5 June 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Rabiya Majeed-Ariss, T. Walker, P. Lee, C. White This study aims to explore the experiences of people who have attended Saint Mary's Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) for a forensic medical examination (FME). Within the United Kingdom, SARCs support complainants following a sexual assault, delivering specialised care and gathering medico-legal evidence for court proceedings. To date, there has been limited research evaluating SARCs responses towards complainants. 863 Feedback and Evaluation forms, from a three-year period, completed by clients who accessed Saint Mary's SARC's forensic medical examination service were evaluated. Descriptive statistical analysis found a large majority of clients were ‘very satisfied’ with the crisis worker, forensic physician and police. Content analysis of the free text responses found more nuanced experiences, which impacted clients overall experience within the SARC. These comments were split into two themes, ‘Compliments’ and ‘Suggestions for improvement’. There were 404 comments focusing on compliments of the service and the staff. Compliments included messages of thanks, with praise for professionalism of the staff and importance of the service. Clients noted in particular that the FME service was delivered in challenging circumstances i.e. the immediate aftermath of a sexual assault. There were 34 comments which made suggestions for improvements. These suggestions focused on pragmatic and logistic issues.
       
  • The CSI Effect(s no one')
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 4 June 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): David Errickson, Stephanie Giles, Graeme Horsman
       
  • Epidemiological and toxicological profile of homicide victims in a legal
           medicine unit in Brazil
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 65Author(s): Yara Vieira Lemos, Alberto Julius Alves Wainstein, Larissa Miranda Savoi, Ana Paula Drummond-Lage ObjectivesThe use of illicit drugs is considered a risk factor for victimization by lethal violence and is frequently found in necropsies of homicide victims. This study aimed to evaluate the profile of these victims.Methods and materialA cross-sectional retrospective study was performed on homicide victims in 2014 with a sample composed of all homicide cases in 2014 for which toxicology had been performed in an Official Forensic Laboratory (Minas Gerais- Brazil).Results1382 homicide victims composed the sample. The group with a positive toxicology test (N = 943) presented higher proportions of men (p = 0.003), black/brown skin (p 
       
  • First report of Heleomyzidae (Diptera) recovered from the inner cavity of
           an intact human femur
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 31 May 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Francesco Sessa, Elena Varotto, Martina Salerno, Stefano Vanin, Giuseppe Bertozzi, Francesco Maria Galassi, Francesca Maglietta, Monica Salerno, Fabiola Tuccia, Cristoforo Pomara, Pietrantonio Ricci One of the main characteristics of the Mafia of Gargano is their use of ritual murders: they shoot their victims in the face and then conceal the corpses in the numerous natural ravines present in the Gargano area. Skeletal remains are often recovered in a poor state of preservation under particular conditions related to the environmental situation. Humidity, temperature and environmental contaminants could be considered very important for forensic examinations and are strictly related to the bone preservation status. One of the most important analyses is the identification of the victim: the success rate is linked to the condition of the bones.During military investigations in the Gargano area, several bones were recovered and analyzed in a karst ravine about 30 m deep. The forensic examination highlighted the presence of fly puparia from an intact human femur. The colonization of the inner bone cavity by a species of the Heleomyzidae family is described for the first time. Puparia, despite not being identified at the species level, are described and illustrated and their potential role in the degradation of the victim’s DNA is discussed. This work increases our knowledge about the effects of Diptera in the taphonomic process underlying the need of a multidisciplinary approach to skeletal investigations.
       
  • A Descriptive Medico-legal Study of Female Deaths in Cairo Governorate,
           Egypt
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 May 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Nancy M. Zaghloul, Haidy M. Megahed BackgroundMortality is conditioned by biological, political and social factors, as well as by culturally defined behaviors and attitudes that historically characterize the stage of development of a country or a region. Women are often in great danger, where they should be safest. Violence against women is the most pervasive yet the least recognized human rights violation in the world. It is a profound health problem and femicide, is often the tragic end-point of violence. Females represent more than half of the Egyptian population, however, they remain vulnerable.Aim of the studyTo describe and analyze data obtained from Zeinhom Morgue records in Cairo, regarding female deaths, throughout two years. To evaluate female deaths regarding age, cause, manner of death, location, perpetrator and motive. To describe the incidence of female homicides and their related injury patterns. To identify the risk factors and nature of violence from victimologic point of view. Finally, to describe the manner of death whether natural, homicidal, suicidal or accidental aiming for early identification of vulnerable females so that actions can be taken to prevent further mortality.Subjectsand Methods: This is a national two year retrospective descriptive mortuary based study. The study population comprised of all adult females, aged 18 years and older, whose death was suspicious and medico-legal examination was ordered. Each investigation included a detailed case history, investigation, gross examination, histo-pathological and toxicological examinations. Data was collected from autopsy reports, hospital records and police records. From the available data the victim profile was made.ResultsAll female deaths aged 18 years and older were retrospectively reviewed for 2 years at Zeinhom morgue of Medico-legal Authority from a total of 1858 autopsy cases. The most common manner of death was homicide. The commonest cause of death in homicides was due to sharp traumatic injuries. Natural death was the least common manner of death and ischemic heart disease constituted the commonest cause. Falling from height was the most common method of suicidal related deaths. Regarding poisoned cases, insecticides and carbon monoxide were the most common detected poisons. According to the cause of death (trauma), blunt trauma injuries were the most common. Falling from height constituted the largest percent of cases under this group.Conclusionand recommendations: Females in the third decade of life with blunt injuries to the head and neck were the majority of adult female autopsies. Homicide was the most common manner of female death using sharp instruments after domestic arguments mainly by a spouse or relative. Accidental death came second mainly due to post-operative complications. In cases of suicide, falling from height was the commonest cause followed by poisoning. These findings could be useful for forensic pathologists and healthcare promoters in predicting and preventing female deaths. Moreover, this emphasizes the need for raising public awareness about the scale of female violence problem in our society. The results of this study indicates that, by not only a strong legal support network, but also by opportunities for economic independency, essential education and awareness, alternative accommodation and a change in attitude and mindset of society, judiciary, legislature, executive, men and most importantly women themselves can lower or even prevent such deaths specially suicidal.
       
  • Tracheal perforation from non-fatal manual strangulation
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 May 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Julia De Boos Non-fatal strangulation is a very common but often underestimated cause of severe injury. In this case, a woman experienced several episodes of manual strangulation in an episode of domestic violence which involved loss of consciousness, confusion and neck pain, particularly over the trachea. CT angiogram of the neck showed a small perforation of the trachea at the level of the thoracic inlet.The prevalence of non-fatal strangulation in the Australian general population is unknown, but a study in Western Australia measured a prevalence of 7.4% of women presenting to a sexual assault service. A systematic review analysing data from 9 countries in North America and Europe, estimated a lifetime prevalence by an intimate partner of between 3.0% to 9.7% of all women (1). US data suggests that of those experiencing intimate partner violence, prevalence ranges from 27-68% (2, 3).This article considers the limited science known about the injuries sustained from non-fatal manual strangulation, much of which is extrapolated from case reports in the literature.
       
  • Teaching forensic science under conditions of humanitarian crisis: Toward
           a critically-informed experiential approach
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 May 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Alyson J. O'Daniel, Krista E. Latham This article examines the use of critical pedagogy practices for teaching students the forensic science of migrant death and identification in the US borderland. Critical pedagogy, a philosophy of education that centers issues of social justice and human rights in the classroom, insists that teaching is inherently political, and challenges students to recognize and address power structures which perpetuate an unjust status quo. Drawing examples from qualitative data gathered during two field seasons in South Texas with the University of Indianapolis Forensic Science Team and narrative analysis of students team members' daily reflections about their work within structures designed to address the US border crisis, this article illuminates challenges and possibilities for teaching in learning in a context of mass violence.
       
  • Epidemio-toxicological profile of poisoning cases - A five years
           retrospective study
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 May 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Utsav Parekh, Sanjay Gupta Poisoning is recognized as a major factor for deaths in majority of low-income and middle- income countries. Although it is considered as a global burden, the nature of poisoning may vary in different areas across the world. The Charutar region in the state of Gujarat in western India has a unique topography and cultivation practises which sets it apart from the rest of the state. Due to the dearth of studies pertaining to the access of the population at this area to different types of poisons and pattern of poisoning, we planned this study to find magnitude, morbidity and mortality of poisoning with a specific consideration of gender, age and poison in contrast to the usual adopted cumulative approach. In a retrospective study, 1092 cases were identified as poisoning cases. The study revealed a higher vulnerability to poisoning in males, married individuals, during the third decade of life, from rural areas, due to accidental causes, during day time events and during the monsoon seasons. The gender specific approach clarified additional comparative data. More deaths were reported from suicidal poisoning than accidental ones. 49 specific poisons were found in the study, among which accidental snake bite poisoning, insecticidal substances and aluminium phosphide were prevalent. Aluminium phosphide and quinalphos were responsible for the highest fatalities (in terms of number of persons died). Gender predominance was observed for specific poisons. Age wise distribution of specific poisons was derived. Treatment duration and survival period for specific poisons were calculated.
       
  • A CUT-OFF VALUE OF THIRD MOLAR MATURITY INDEX FOR INDICATING A MINIMUM AGE
           OF CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY: OLDER OR YOUNGER THAN 16 YEARS'
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 May 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Sudheer B. Balla, Subramanyeswara S. Chinni, Ivan Galic, Aditya Mohan Alwala, Pramod Machani, Roberto Cameriere Providing appropriate legal mechanisms, that evaluate the progression of development from the age of childhood innocence to maturity and full responsibility, considered one of the difficult areas of criminal justice policy. The minimum age of criminal responsibility (MACR) in children varies among countries and differs widely owing to history and culture. Due to rising and brutality of criminal offenses, particularly by juveniles, few countries have lowered the minimum age of criminal responsibility, and many have considered/ considering to do the same. India is one such country in which is under the proposal of lowering the age of criminal responsibility to 16 years. As there is lack of useful age assessment methods, that can indicate whether if the individual in question is younger (
       
  • A fatal case of self-poisoning through the ingestion of oleander leaves
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 May 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Elena Azzalini, Marzia Bernini, Sara Vezzoli, Anna Antonietti, Andrea Verzeletti
       
  • Vehicle-assisted ligature decapitation: a case report and a review of the
           literature
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 May 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): E. Marchand, V. Mesli, E. Le Garff, J. Pollard, A. Bécart, V. Hédouin, D. Gosset Decapitation resulting by vehicle-assisted ligature strangulation is a suicide method rarely described in the literature. The lesions observed at autopsy have a common morphology with to those found in post-hanging decapitation. They depend on the force applied by the acceleration of the vehicle, the slope of the road and the characteristics of the link used. They can also mimic a stabbing homicide. We report the case of a 43-year-old man who used a long steel rope, attached between his neck and a streetlight, and started his vehicle, causing a complete decapitation. The results of the autopsy provided information on the morphology of the cervical lesions, but also on the causes of death. In spite of decapitation, the histological examination of the organs confirmed the presence of asphyxiation process by a mechanical origin that occurred before decapitation.
       
  • The risk of emerging new psychoactive substances: The first fatal
           3-MeO-PCP intoxication in The Netherlands
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 May 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Lutea A.A. de Jong, Erik J.H. Olyslager, Wilma L.J.M. Duijst Structural analogs of classic drugs, also called designer drugs, are a booming market due to the easy accessibility on the internet and their legal status. One of those ‘legal highs’ is an analog of phencyclidine, namely 3-methoxyphencyclidine (3-MeO-PCP). Very few fatalities have been reported where 3-MeO-PCP contributed to the death of an individual. We present the first fatal case in the Netherlands and one of the few worldwide. Postmortem biological samples and the presumed abused unknown substance, sold as ant poison, were obtained. 3-MeO-PCP was detected, and the resulting concentration was 152 μg/l in whole blood. The presumed taken unknown sample was identified as 3-MeO-PCP and thus linked to the victim. The cause of death was a combination of 3-MeO-PCP, amphetamine, and alcohol. Improved diagnostic skills are necessary to face these emerging novel psychoactive substances also in light of public health and social risks.
       
  • A case of Jack Russel Terrier scavenging: Images and three dimensional
           models for forensic interpretation
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 15 May 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Fabio De-Giorgio, Simone Grassi, John William Berketa Distinguishing between ante-mortem and post-mortem domestic dog injuries is fundamental in order to correctly find the cause of the death. Although fatal aggressions are chiefly perpetrated by pit bull-type dogs, small dogs are responsible for a significant share of animal bites and can cause high-degree injuries. On the other side, indoor and outdoor scavenging can hinder forensic investigation, consuming parts of the body where crucial forensic features like bruises and wounds have been inflicted. In the case we present, a man died after falling down his house stairs because of a traumatic intracranial haemorrhage. His dog, a Jack Russel Terrier, scavenged a significant portion of his facial superficial and deep tissues, suggesting to the investigators the hypothesis of a brutal aggression. In this paper, we showed how the application of advanced 3D processing and modelling techniques can give a crucial contribution to detect the injuries certainly caused by animal teeth.
       
  • Stature Estimation from Hand Anthropometric Measurements in Bangladeshi
           Population
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 14 May 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Md. Asadujjaman, Md. Babor Ali Molla, Sk Nahid Al Noman The aim of this research was to generate a standard formula for estimating stature in the Bangladeshi population from hand anthropometric measurements. Arbitrarily selected a total of 150 male and 150 female healthy subjects within the age range 18 to 60 years participated in this study. Stature and nine hand parameters were taken using a standard tape and a digital slide calipers for each subject. The results indicate that in male Bangladeshi population, the bilateral variation of hand length, hand breadth, maximum hand breadth, palm length, thumb length, ring finger length, and little finger length was statistically not significant (p>0.05). On the other hand, in female, bilateral difference of hand length, hand breadth, palm length, index finger length, middle finger length, ring finger length, and little finger length was statistically insignificant (p>0.05). All hand dimensions were statistically significant (p
       
  • Evidences of trauma in adult African enslaved individuals from Valle da
           Gafaria, Lagos, Portugal (15th-17th centuries)
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 May 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Maria Teresa Ferreira, Catarina Coelho, Eugénia Cunha, Sofia N. Wasterlain The aim of this work is to discuss the frequency of traumatic bone injuries in a quite unique skeletal assemblage of enslaved people from Valle da Gafaria, Lagos, Portugal (15th-17th centuries). In all, 30 males, 58 females, and 15 individuals of unknown sex were included in the study. The skeletal remains were macroscopically observed for traumatic lesions. When present, the traumatic bone injuries were classified as having occurred ante or perimortem. The antemortem lesions were also studied through radiological analysis. Traumatic lesions were identified in 11 men (36.7%), 23 women (39.7%) and two individuals of unknown sex (13.3%). From these 36 individuals, 61.1% presented antemortem trauma, 25.0% perimortem trauma and 13.9% exhibited simultaneously ante and perimortem trauma. The mechanism of all traumatic injuries was blunt force trauma. From the 9965 analysed bones, 186 exhibited traumatic lesions (87 antemortem, 97 perimortem, and two with both ante and perimortem lesions). The bone more affected by antemortem trauma was the 5th right intermediate foot phalange (40.0%) and by perimortem trauma was the skull (11.4%), probably related to accidents and interpersonal violence, respectively. When analysed by sex, the only significant differences were found in the skull and the right 5th proximal foot phalanges, men (57.1%) presenting more lesions than women (15.4%). The obtained results are consistent with an arduous life, corroborating historical sources which document labour accidents, physical punishments and hard work in the populations of slaves.
       
  • Postmortem water contents of major organs with regard to the cause of
           death
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 May 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Tani Naoto, Tomoya Ikeda, Alissa Shida, Yayoi Aoki, Shigeki Oritani, Takaki Ishikawa The water contents of individual organs are maintained in a narrow range, but altered in morbidity owing to a disturbance of water equilibrium. The present study investigated the tissue water contents of major organs with regard to the cause of death in serial autopsy cases within 3 days postmortem (n = 329; 223 males, 106 females; age range, 1–100 years). Individual tissue water contents differed markedly across organs, but no significant postmortem or survival-period dependence, gender-related difference, or age dependence was observed. However, the lung water contents were higher in drowning cases, especially in saltwater cases (p < 0.05), and in strangulation among the acute mechanical asphyxiation cases. The brain water contents were higher in hypothermia cases (cold exposure) and tended to be higher in hyperthermia cases (heatstroke). The kidney water contents were higher in drowning and acute cardiac cases than in fatal intoxication and fire fatality cases, but tended to be higher in fresh- and bathwater drowning cases than in saltwater cases (p> 0.05). The spleen water contents were higher in bathwater drowning than in saltwater and freshwater cases, but did not differ among other the causes of death. These findings suggest that the postmortem tissue water content of individual organs, especially the lungs and/or kidney, depends on the cause of death and particularly contributes to differentiation between saltwater and freshwater drowning, respectively. This work therefore provides insight into the investigation of varied tissue water imbalances during the death process. In conclusion, we recommend the measurement of tissue water content because it is easy to perform and appears to be useful for evaluating the pathophysiology of systemic circulatory failure.Graphical abstractImage 1
       
  • Septic myocardial calcification: A case report
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 May 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Maiese Aniello, Manetti Federico, La Russa Raffaele, Di Fazio Nicola, De Matteis Alessandra, Frati Paola, Fineschi Vittorio The histological findings in the heart in cases of fatal sepsis can show myocytolysis, interstitial fibrosis, necrotic contraction band, mononuclear infiltrates, and interstitial edema, which can be used in post mortem diagnosis of sepsis. Septic myocardial calcification is a very rare condition, and only a few cases have been reported in the literature. In general, the pathogenesis of the myocardial calcification has not been well clarified, but two pathogenic mechanisms have been universally recognized: metastatic or dystrophic. We present a rare case of sepsis-related myocardial calcification.Here we report a case involving a 72-year-old white male who was admitted to a hospital for a polytrauma caused by a motorbike accident. On the 110th day of hospitalization, the patient was diagnosed with a septic process and a subsequent transesophageal echocardiogram revealed the presence of a calcification on the right atrial wall. According to the medical history of the patient there were no systemic factors predisposing to calcium crystals deposition in tissues. Patient died due to multi-organ failure in the course of multimicrobial septic shock during the 149th day. The autopsy revealed both the presence of a greenish-brown formation and a greater consistency of the right atrial wall. The histological investigation of the right atrium wall showed a wide calcification area localized at subendocardial level, which contained fibrin deposition and was surrounded by fibrotic tissue.
       
  • The derivation of predictive equations to speculate the post-mortem
           interval using cases with over 20-mL pleural effusion: A preliminary study
           
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 9 May 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Yosuke Usumoto, Keiko Kudo, Akiko Tsuji, Yoko Ihama, Noriaki Ikeda Often, pleural effusion is noted at autopsy when the cause of death is drowning or diseases such as heart, renal and liver failure. Several studies have established a correlation between the concentrations of electrolytes in pleural effusion and the post-mortem interval (PMI) or those concentrations and drowning site. The present study aims to investigate the relationship between the amount of pleural effusion, concentrations of electrolytes and total protein in pleural effusion, by integrated interpretation using various factors such as the deceased's gender, age, cause of death, drowning site, PMI and body temperature. We included 40 cadavers (26 male, 14 female) with>20-mL pleural effusion, which were categorised into four groups as follows: freshwater drowning; brackish water drowning; seawater drowning (drowning group); and not drowning. An equation derived to assess the lung weight revealed that the drowning site affected the lung weight. An equation for the amount of pleural effusion in the drowning group for the first time revealed that the amount of pleural effusion was directly proportional to the PMI. Using an equation to assess the PMI, we could estimate the PMI within 13.0–13.2 h in cases with>20-mL pleural effusion. Despite a small number of cases in the present study, we attained exciting results from the integrated statistical analysis.
       
  • Lip print identification: Current perspectives
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 April 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Gabriel M. Fonseca, D.D.S. Jorge Ortíz-Contreras, C.D.R. Carlos Ramírez-Lagos, Sandra López-Lázaro Antr Lip print identification has been proposed as an additional tool for crime investigation because of the supposed uniqueness of labial grooves; however, critics of the validity and reliability for methods and techniques redefined standards and requirements in order to consider this discipline a real forensic identification science. During our research we identified recent literature, presented here, which although extensive, have focused almost entirely on anthropological topics with outdated references which were not from primary sources and, furthermore, were erroneously quoted. Currently, authors continue to use the concept of lip pattern uniqueness, yet the greatest part of their research has failed to support this hypothesis under current scientific standards. Concepts and designs needed to evaluate materials for lip print development - the isolation of DNA, evaluation of inter-rater reliability in identifying their patterns or known potential rate of error - are scarcely mentioned in the reviewed literature. Lip print identification has been important historically, but the new paradigm makes the redefinition of the current research necessary to stop guesswork and speculation.
       
  • The demographics of dog bites due to K-9 (legal intervention) in the
           United States
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 19 April 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Randall T. Loder, Cory Meixner BackgroundThere is sparse literature regarding K-9 (legal intervention) dog bites. It was the purpose of this study to analyze the demographics of K-9 dog bites using a national data base.MethodsThis was a retrospective study of prospectively collected data from National Electronic Injury Surveillance System - All Injury Program for years 2005–2013. Patients with dog bites were identified and those due to legal intervention were analyzed. Statistical analyses were performed with SUDAAN 11.0.01™ software. A p 64 years of age were only seen at large hospitals. The average annual incidence of K-9 dog bites seen in the ED for US was 2.43 per 100,000 males with no changes over time.ConclusionsIn the US, 1.1% of all ED visits for dog bites are due to K-9 intervention with no change in incidence, even though this study spanned the time when it was encouraged to change K-9 intervention; from “find and bite” to “find and bark”. The K-9 dog bite patient is nearly always male, more commonly Black, occurred away from home, and has a 3.7% hospital admission rate. Bites to the head/neck are less common compared to the non K-9 dog bite group.
       
  • Prediction of injury risks and features among scooter riders through
           MADYMO reconstruction of a scooter-microvan accident: identifying the
           driver and passengers
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 April 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Donghua Zou, Xian Zhang, Zhengdong Li, Jie Sun, Jianhua Zhang, Ping Huang, Kaijun Ma, Yijiu Chen In dealing with a scooter-related traffic accident with rider death, it is necessary to identify the driver responsible for the accident. This study aimed to reconstruct the kinematics of a scooter–microvan accident involving three riders and explored the differences in injury risks and characteristics of the scooter driver and passengers. We reconstructed a real accident by using MADYMO multi-body simulation software. Moreover, we designed two-variable simulation experiments to analyze how the velocity and impact angle of the microvan are related to the injuries of the three riders. When the microvan speed is set at 18 km/h and that of the scooter is set at 28.8 km/h, the simulated kinematics correlates well with real accident data, and the impact positions and injury parameters correlate well with the actual injuries. When the impact angle is smaller than 30° and the microvan impact velocity is lower than 40 km/h, the head injury of the driver is more life-threatening than the corresponding injuries of the rear passengers. When the impact angle is 15° and the microvan impact velocity is in the range of 0 to 20 km/h, the femur fracture risk is higher for the driver than for passengers. As the impact angle increases to 45°, passengers have a higher risk of femur fracture than the driver in the velocity range of 0 to 10 km/h. This impact velocity range becomes 0 to 30 km/h at an impact angle of 60° and then 40 to 70 km/h at an impact angle of 90°. Our study shows that the multibody method can reconstruct accidents and predict the different injury features and risks between the driver and passengers, which is useful in identifying the driver.
       
  • A novel approach for Sex determination using palmar tri-radii: A
           pilot study.
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 April 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Ashish Badiye, Neeti Kapoor, Swati Dubey Mishra Palmprints are often encountered on the scene of crime. It can play a key role in sex determination (male or female), which may help in the process of elimination and hence in narrowing down the suspect pool during forensic investigation. In the present study, 300 bilateral palmprints collected from 150 healthy consenting adults (75 males and 75 females) belonging to heterogeneous population of central India were examined. The distance between the palmar tri-radii (deltas) 'a', 'b', 'c', 'd' to the axial tri-radius 't' were studied individually as well as combined. Applying t-test, the results were found to be statistically significant (p
       
  • Coroners court and directions to juries in Article 2 inquests
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 9 April 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Zia Akhtar Article 2 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) protects the Right to Life that is invoked in an inquest where the diseased has expired in circumstances of custody or control by an agency of state. The High Court in 2012 ordered the second inquest in the Hillsborough case where the correct directions to the jury were read as to when there is a breach of such a duty. The inquest findings resulted in criminal charges being brought against two former senior police officers, who were indicted linked to the disaster. This paper examines the inquest process where there is a jury and considers the framework of the Coroners Court in the context of Article 2 where death has occurred under circumstances of duress.
       
  • Estimation of stature from radiographically determined lower limb bone
           length in modern Chinese
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 February 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Kui Zhang, Meng-jun Zhan, Jing-hui Cui, Ying-zhen Luo, Li-rong Qiu, Li-ping Deng, Zhen-lin Li, Xiao-gang Chen, Zhen-hua Deng To develop population - specific stature prediction equations from measurements of the lower limb bone in a contemporary Chinese. 303 individuals of Han group in Western China, including 201 females and 102 males were collected. The study sample was randomly divided into two subgroups. A calibration sample, which consisted of 171 females and 87 males, was used to develop the regression formula. A validation sample comprising the remaining 30 female and 15 male individuals was then used to test the predictive accuracy of the established formula. The regression equations were developed from intact bones and fragments of the femur, tibia and fibula, the maximum lengths of femur, tibia, and fibula were highly correlated with the stature. The maximum length of femur provide the most accurate result with the prediction accuracy of 3.84 cm for unknown sex, 4.00 cm in the male group, 3.45 cm in the female group, 3.61 cm in the group with age no more than 45, 3.45 cm in the group with age above 45. Moreover, the multiple regression equations were developed, and they portray a more accurate stature in instances in which the femur, tibia and fibula are available. This paper provides indications that the femur, tibia and fibula are important bones for stature estimation and they could be effectively used in forensic cases.
       
  • Three groups of suspects in police reported rape cases: First-time
           suspects, recidivists and unidentified suspects. A comparative study
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 15 February 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Bjarte Frode Vik, Kirsten Rasmussen, Berit Schei, Cecilie Therese Hagemann BackgroundPrevious studies show that reported suspects in adult rape cases often have a criminal record, and that many are rape recidivists. Annual numbers of police reported rapes have dramatically increased but the proportion of rapes being prosecuted and numbers of convictions are low. To increase knowledge about the suspects in cases of police reported rapes; whether they have committed the crime before or not may inform preventive measures.AimsTo compare suspect, victim, and assault related characteristics among different groups of police-reported rape suspects (first-time suspects, recidivist suspects and unidentified suspects).MethodsRetrospective, descriptive study of suspects in cases of rape or attempted rape reported by women ≥16 years of age in the Sør-Trøndelag police district, Norway, from 2003 to 2010.ResultsAmong the 356 suspects included, 207 (58%) were first-time suspects, 75 (21%) were recidivists and 74 (21%) were unidentified. Being a first-time suspect was significantly associated with victim being
       
 
 
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