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Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.622
Citation Impact (citeScore): 1
Number of Followers: 410  
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1752-928X
Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3163 journals]
  • Bare footprint metric analysis methods for comparison and identification
           in forensic examinations: A review of literature
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 58Author(s): Richa Mukhra, Kewal Krishan, Tanuj Kanchan Footprint is one of the most common types of physical evidence recovered at a crime scene. The forensic footprint evidence may play an important role in establishing the identity of a person; therefore, its examination is of prime importance. A link may be established by observing and comparing the morphological features of footprints with the perpetrator. These barefoot prints may be present as a two-dimensional print or a three-dimensional imprint depending on the substrate upon which they have been impressed upon and accordingly different methods and techniques are implemented in order to identify the questioned prints. After the execution of appropriate procedure, these prints are then compared with the exemplar prints, i.e., prints of the suspects to narrow down the process of identification. The analysis of bare footprints has been used to offer a wide range of knowledge about different print patterns. Thus, the present work extends an overview of the different methods and indices that are being used to evaluate footprints for comparison and identification purposes. The evaluation and interpretation of footprints is not only of prime importance in forensic examination but also help in clinical examinations and elucidation of various podiatric disorders. The paper also focuses on the occurrence of footprint evidence, forensic podiatric training and education, reliability and accuracy of the footprint analysis methods and associated intra-rater and inter-rater discrepancies.
  • External foam and the post-mortem period: Only the positive finding counts
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 58Author(s): Guido Reijnen, Marcel Buster, Petra Vos, Udo Reijnders
  • Which mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) are candidates for DNA extraction in
           forensic practice'
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 58Author(s): Attila J. Trájer Mosquitoes can be of importance in forensic context as a source of the perpretator's DNA. The aim of this study was to find how can we optimize the selection of appropriate mosquito individuals. The study was based on the data of 177833 trapped female mosquitoes and 105236 individuals which were collected directly from human skin. The mean human-specific biting willingness value of Aedes species was the highest (mean: 0.8). Significant differences were found between the human-specific biting willingness value variances of Aedes and Culex (p=0.0117) and barely significant differences between Anopheles and Culiseta (p = 0.5412), as well as between Aedes and Culiseta genera (p = 0.0562). Culiseta species showed the lowest human-specific biting willingness values (mean = 0.16). The mean of the human-specific biting willingness values of univoltine and multivoltine mosquitoes were 0.43 and 0.37 which means no significant difference between the variances of the two groups (p = 0.625). The mean of the human-specific biting willingness values of the predominantly mammal biting and non-mammal biting mosquitoes were 0.45 and 0.03 with a very significant difference (p
  • Aortic dissection in cocaine abuse: A fatal case
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 58Author(s): S. D'Errico, S. Niballi, D. Bonuccelli
  • Cervical artery dissections: Factors that influence causation
           determination in litigated cases
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 58Author(s): Pierre Boucher, Sébastien Robidoux, Sarah Chahine In litigated cases, the suspected causes of cervical artery dissections (CADs) are a source of considerable debate among experts. In this study, we sought to examine the factors influencing court decisions and discover how Canadian tribunals analyzed and arbitrated conflicting expert opinions in CAD cases. Cases for this review were identified through searches of the Canadian CANLII database. First, the results of this study show that there is no standardized methodology to assist health care personnel in the processing and interpretation of data in individual cases of CAD. This leads to wide ranges of personal interpretations and opinions which may confuse tribunals. Of concern is the implication of treating physicians who may not have the objectivity to act as expert witnesses when one of their patients is engaged in a legal proceeding.
  • Age estimation: Cameriere's open apices methodology accuracy on a
           southeast Brazilian sample
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 58Author(s): Luiz Eugenio Nigro Mazzilli, Rodolfo Francisco Haltenhoff Melani, Cesar Angelo Lascala, Luz Andrea Velandia Palacio, Roberto Cameriere Age estimation plays an important role in clinical and forensic dentistry. Cameriere's 2007 open apices method for age estimation was applied in a sample of 612 digital panoramic orthopantomographs from Brazilian subadult individuals of known age and sex. The sample was composed of 290 males and 322 females individuals aged between four and 16 years of age from São Paulo metropolitan area who had undertaken radiographs for clinical purposes. Participant's ethnicity data was not available. An open code computer-aided drafting software (ImageJ) was used to measure the variables according to the author's published guidelines. Subjects' age was firstly estimated under the application of the European formula (2007) showing under-estimation (−1.24yr). On the other hand, the linear regression analysis modeled for this specific population was able to explain 91.2% of the chronological age variation with a standard error of 0.91yr. Residual analyses confirmed independent errors and a normal distribution. In conclusion, the present results support Cameriere's method for age estimation in Brazilian subadults to be a reliable method, although correlations may vary between specific groups and, hence, specific formulae may be useful for an accurate prediction.
  • Pre-analytical factors related to the stability of ethanol concentration
           during storage of ante-mortem blood alcohol specimens
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 58Author(s): Johannes B. Laurens, Frances J.J. Sewell, Marleen M. Kock Sterile ante-mortem blood specimens were spiked with ethanol at the South African blood alcohol legal concentration limits of 0.20 g/L and 0.50 g/L and were stored in tubes containing sodium fluoride over a period of twenty-nine weeks under refrigeration (4 °C) and at room temperature (22 °C) to study the stability of the ethanol concentrations over time. Those stored under refrigeration were found to be stable, while a significant decrease in ethanol concentration at 99% confidence was observed in those stored at room temperature.Additional blood specimens, also spiked with ethanol, were inoculated with the dimorphic fungus Candida albicans at five different levels (1 × 106 cells/mL, 5 × 105 cells/mL, 1 × 104 cells/mL, 5 × 103 cells/mL and 5 × 101 cells/mL) and stored with and without sodium fluoride at 4 °C and 22 °C. The ethanol concentrations were monitored for nine weeks unless no fungal colonies were detected. Regardless of the presence or absence of NaF in samples – sterile or otherwise – storing specimens at 4 °C was sufficient to maintain the integrity of blood alcohol concentrations.The ethanol analyses were performed with an in-house validated isotope dilution gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analytical method on newly opened specimens once a week after which significance testing was performed to draw conclusions regarding changes in ethanol concentrations with measurement uncertainty in mind.
  • Estimating age using permanent molars and third cervical vertebrae shape
           with a novel semi-automated method
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 58Author(s): Scheila Mânica, Ferranti S.L. Wong, Graham Davis, Helen M. Liversidge Estimating chronological age accurately in young adults is difficult and additional methods are required to increase the accuracy. This study explored a new semi-automated method to assess shape change of third cervical vertebra (C3) with age in the living; comparing this as a method to determine whether individuals could be categorised into being less than 18 years of age (
  • The intensity of the inflammatory response in experimental porcine bruises
           depends on time, anatomical location and sampling site
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 58Author(s): Kristiane Barington, Kerstin Skovgaard, Nicole Lind Henriksen, Anne Sofie Boyum Johansen, Henrik Elvang Jensen The assessment of the age of bruises inflicted on livestock is an important component of veterinary forensic pathology investigations. However, the sampling site within a bruise, the anatomical location and the mass and speed of the object inflicting the blunt trauma might influence the intensity of the inflammatory reaction. In the present study, the variation of the inflammatory reaction within and along experimental porcine bruises was evaluated in order to determine the optimal sampling site. Moreover, we evaluated if a combination of histological characteristics and gene expression signatures was able to differentiate bruises according to anatomical location, age of bruises and the speed and mass of the object used to cause the impact.Twelve experimental slaughter pigs were anesthetized, and on each animal four blunt traumas were inflicted on the back using either a plastic tube or an iron bar, respectively. The pigs were euthanized at 2, 5 or 8 h after infliction. Following gross examination, skin and underlying muscle tissue were sampled from the center and both ends of bruises and evaluated histologically. Subcutaneous fat tissue from the center of the bruises was sampled for quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction to evaluate mRNA expression of 13 selected genes. Uninjured tissue was sampled from the right thigh of all pigs and served as control tissue.The amount of tissue damage and the intensity of the inflammatory reaction in bruises depended on the sampling site within and along a bruise, the anatomical location and the age of the bruise. The optimal site for sampling, i.e. the most pronounced inflammatory reaction, was at the center of the bruises where the plastic tube or iron bar first struck the skin. Moreover, bruises inflicted in areas with a thin layer of subcutaneous fat tissue showed more damage and inflammation in the underlying muscle tissue compared to bruises inflicted in areas with a thicker layer of subcutaneous fat tissue. In addition, hemorrhage in the muscle tissue was more likely present when bruises were inflicted with an iron bar compared to a plastic tube. Combining histology and mRNA expression of the 13 genes showed that the age of bruises could be determined with a precision of ±2.04 h. Moreover, the age of bruises could be determined with a precision of ±1.84 h based solely on mRNA expression of a selection of four genes.
  • Value of the serum thyroglobulin level for diagnosing neck compression in
           postmortem cases
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 58Author(s): Marin Takaso, Hajime Tsuboi, Noriko Komeda, Mami Morimoto, Hiroshi Ikegaya To investigate the relationship between blood thyroglobulin (Tg) levels and neck compression, the Tg levels of right cardiac blood were measured using a chemiluminescence immunoassay in 256 autopsy cases.There were 11 cases in which neck compression was confirmed based on autopsy findings and other information, in which the mean Tg level was 3155 ng/mL (range: 179–16,500 ng/mL). In the remaining cases, the mean Tg level was 4160 ng/mL (range: 0.3–139,000 ng/mL). There was no significant difference between the mean Tg levels of the two groups.In a comparison between the case groups with Tg levels of ≥200 ng/mL and
  • Mental health in Sexual Assault Referral Centres: A survey of forensic
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 58Author(s): Charlie Brooker, Sheila Paul, Coral Sirdifield A national survey of Forensic Physicians (FPs) working in Sexual Assault Referral Centres was undertaken. The survey was advertised in the weekly bulletin sent out by the Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine. Response was relatively low (n = 45). It is estimated that this figures represents about 12% of the workforce. The aim of the survey was to investigate FPs experience of accessing mental health pathways out of a SARC for complainants of all ages. The results concurred with a previous survey of SARC clinical managers with mental health services proving unresponsive. Informed co-commissioning between NHS England and Clinical Commissioning groups can only improve if aspects of complainant's mental health are routinely assessed within SARCs using structured outcome measures. Structured outcomes should be integrated into NHS England's Sexual Assault Referral Centres Indicators of Performance (SARCIP).
  • Documentation and analysis of traumatic injuries in clinical forensic
           medicine involving structured light three-dimensional surface scanning
           versus photography
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 58Author(s): Awatif Shamata, Tim Thompson Non-contact three-dimensional (3D) surface scanning has been applied in forensic medicine and has been shown to mitigate shortcoming of traditional documentation methods. The aim of this paper is to assess the efficiency of structured light 3D surface scanning in recording traumatic injuries of live cases in clinical forensic medicine. The work was conducted in Medico-Legal Centre in Benghazi, Libya. A structured light 3D surface scanner and ordinary digital camera with close-up lens were used to record the injuries and to have 3D and two-dimensional (2D) documents of the same traumas. Two different types of comparison were performed. Firstly, the 3D wound documents were compared to 2D documents based on subjective visual assessment. Additionally, 3D wound measurements were compared to conventional measurements and this was done to determine whether there was a statistical significant difference between them. For this, Friedman test was used. The study established that the 3D wound documents had extra features over the 2D documents. Moreover; the 3D scanning method was able to overcome the main deficiencies of the digital photography. No statistically significant difference was found between the 3D and conventional wound measurements. The Spearman's correlation established strong, positive correlation between the 3D and conventional measurement methods. Although, the 3D surface scanning of the injuries of the live subjects faced some difficulties, the 3D results were appreciated, the validity of 3D measurements based on the structured light 3D scanning was established. Further work will be achieved in forensic pathology to scan open injuries with depth information.
  • Determining gender by taking measurements from magnetic resonance images
           of the patella
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 58Author(s): Hacer Yasar Teke, Özge Ünlütürk, Elif Günaydin, Semra Duran, Sait Özsoy BackgroundA key step in making a positive identification in forensic medicine is the establishment of a biological profile, which involves determining factors such as gender, age, ancestry, and stature. The goal of this study was to determine if gender could be established by taking various measurements of the patella taken from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images and analyzing the variations by gender.MethodsThe sample group consisted of 220 patients (110 male and 110 female) whose patella were measured using MRI images of their left knee. Reasons for exclusion were any previous surgery, patella bipartite variation, any fracture in the patella due to trauma or findings of mass or infection. Three measurements – transverse length (TP), craniocaudal length (CC) and anteroposterior length (APP) – were taken off T2-weighted axial and sagittal MRI scans. The program SPSS (Version 21.0) was used to make a descriptive analysis, independent t-test and discriminative analysis.ResultsIt was found possible to determine gender with an accuracy rate of 91% for females and 87% for males. Since measurements were made individually the accuracy for gender estimation is lower than that seen in other methods.ConclusionThe findings are important in that they show that it is possible to determine gender with a high degree of accuracy using just a few measurements taken from the patella.
  • Difficulties in interpretation when assessing prolonged and subacute
           exposure to the toxic effects of chlorine
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 58Author(s): Marek Wiergowski, Ireneusz Sołtyszewski, Jacek Sein Anand, Michał Kaliszan, Jolanta Anita Wilmanowska, Zbigniew Jankowski, Marcin Łukasik The purpose of this study was a toxicological interpretation of exposure to chlorine with unusual course. Medical, clinical and court records, as well as reviews of the literature, served as the basis for this interpretation. The first case of poisoning concerns a 52-year-old man who for a short time (probably several hours), during the industrial cleaning of facilities with sodium hypochlorite, was exposed to chlorine in a presumed high concentration. The man was obese and suffered from hypertension and moderate atherosclerosis, and therefore could be more susceptible to the toxic effects of chlorine. After exposure no pulmonary edema or symptoms typical for acute respiratory distress syndrome were present. The second case concerns the chronic poisoning of a 56-year-old man who worked for eight years, 8 h a day, 5 days a week, in a room which was next to a chlorination room. In this chamber technical sodium hypochlorite was stored and dosed. In both cases, determining a cause and effect relationship between exposure to toxic and allergic agents in the form of active chlorine, and the onset of symptoms may be difficult. The findings described above in the first and second case are particularly important in cases of compensation claims and may have a completely different etiology than previously described in medical literature.
  • Development and validation of an HPLC-MS/MS method for the detection of
           ketamine in Calliphora vomitoria (L.) (Diptera: Calliphoridae)
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 58Author(s): Paola A. Magni, Marco Pazzi, Jessica Droghi, Marco Vincenti, Ian R. Dadour Entomotoxicology is a branch of forensic entomology that studies the detection of drugs or other toxic substances from insects developing on the decomposing tissues of a human corpse or animal carcass. Entomotoxicology also investigates the effects of these substances on insect development, survival and morphology to provide an estimation of the minimum time since death. Ketamine is a medication mainly used for starting and maintaining anesthesia. In recent years ketamine has also been used as a recreational drug, and occasionally as a sedating drug to facilitate sexual assault. In both activities, it has resulted in several deaths. Furthermore, ketamine has been also implicated in suspicious deaths of animals. The present research describes for the first time the development and validation of an analytical method suited to detect ketamine in larvae, pupae, empty puparia, and adults of Calliphora vomitoria L. (Diptera: Calliphoridae), using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS). This research also considers the effects of ketamine on the survival, developmental rate and morphology (length and width of larvae and pupae) of C. vomitoria. The larvae were reared on liver substrates homogeneously spiked with ketamine concentrations consistent with those found in humans after recreational use (300 ng/mg) or allegedly indicated as capable of causing death in either humans or animals (600 ng/mg). The results demonstrated that (a) HPLC-MS/MS method is applicable to ketamine detection in C. vomitoria immatures, not adults; (b) the presence of ketamine at either concentration in the food substrate significantly delays the developmental time to pupal and adult instar; (d) the survival of C. vomitoria is negatively affected by the presence of ketamine in the substrate; (e) the length and width of larvae and pupae exposed to either ketamine concentration were significantly larger than the control samples.
  • Development of forensic medicine in post reform Indonesia
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 58Author(s): Yoni Fuadah Syukriani, Nita Novita, Deni K. Sunjaya Forensic medicine practice in Indonesia was introduced through the Dutch colonial criminal justice system in the early twentieth century. After more than 70 years of national independence, the development of forensic medicine still faces fundamental challenges, including confusion in the distribution of responsibility with law enforcement agencies, difficulties in managing conflicts of interest, and impediments in scientific practice and professional development. Despite of the golden opportunity from the Indonesian Reform movement in the late 1990s, the impact on forensic medicine development has been less than expected. It is thus important to identify the scope of the problems plaguing the development of forensic medicine, as well as its causes. We conducted a qualitative study to explain the problems and propose solutions. The results show that the standards of practice have developed more slowly than those in many other branches of medicine, despite its increasing popularity from its role in counterterrorism and disaster victim identification. A strong thriving spirit exists in forensic science, although growth in forensic research activities should be facilitated more. The 2009 Health Law has included forensic medicine practice in the health system to cover the role of forensic medicine for health and medical education purposes. It also potentially provides a way to support the justice system without exposing forensic practitioners to possible conflicts of interest, for instance, by utilizing a tiered referral system. To this aim, an alternative is proposed: to place forensic medicine practice within the context of the health system.
  • Both-sided native valve infective endocarditis in a drug addict with
           incidental pneumoconiosis
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 58Author(s): Shashank Tyagi, Swati Patki, Pradeep Vaideeswar, Vikas Meshram Involvement of both right and left heart chambers with infective endocarditis is extremely rare. In this case report, we aimed to present a rare case of Infective endocarditis (IE) in an intravenous & inhalational drug misuse involving both cardiac chambers with incidental pneumoconiosis.
  • Medico-legal aspects of disabilities due to orthopedic injuries and
           compensations in Egypt
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 58Author(s): Sherien Salah Ghaleb, Dalia Abd Elwahab Hassan, Alla Mohamed Shehab, Soad Abd El-Ghafar Mohamed Hassan Disability is a complex problem that results in detrimental effects on the victim. The number of disabled has increased considerably. The development constitutes a good reason for paying more specific attention to society's growing number of disabled. The physician's duties are not only to describe the anatomic and physiological defects present in the injured individual, but also to answer questions regarding the patient ability to perform specific economic or social function. This study aimed to clear up some of the problems or difficulties that may face the medico-legal physician or any personal that may be concerned with the process of evaluation. In the other words the aim of work is to design a new strategy for evaluating the degree of permanent infirmities and their compensation. The study investigates the pattern of disability in cases referred for medico-legal examination in department of Cairo and the chief's office of medico-legal administration in ministry of justice. The study included 200 cases of disabled. Male gender was more predominate than female gender (were male 78% - female 22%) and the working group (18–60) were the most frequent age group identified as victims of traumatic injuries. It was recommended the overall development plans of the country should have a positive role in prevention and decrease this problem.
  • Femur loading in feet-first fall experiments using an anthropomorphic test
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 58Author(s): Angela Thompson, Gina Bertocci, Craig Smalley BackgroundFemur fractures are a common orthopedic injury in young children. Falls account for a large portion of accidental femur fractures in young children, but there is also a high prevalence of femur fractures in child abuse, with falls often provided as false histories. Objective information regarding fracture potential in short distance fall scenarios may aid in assessing whether a child's injuries are the result of abuse or an accidental fall. Knowledge of femur loading is the first step towards understanding likelihood of fracture in a fall.ObjectiveCharacterize femur loading during feet-first free falls using a surrogate representing a 12-month-old child.MethodsThe femur and hip joint of a surrogate representing a 12-month-old were modified to improve biofidelity and measure femur loading; 6-axis load cells were integrated into the proximal and distal femur. Femur modification was based upon CT imaging of cadaveric femurs in children 10–14 months of age. Using the modified 12-month-old surrogate, feet-first free falls from 69 cm and 119 cm heights onto padded carpet and linoleum were conducted to assess fall dynamics and determine femur loading. Femur compression, bending moment, shear and torsional moment were measured for each fall.ResultsFall dynamics differed across fall heights, but did not substantially differ by impact surface type. Significant differences were found in all loading conditions across fall heights, while only compression and bending loads differed between carpet and linoleum surfaces. Maximum compression, bending, torsion and shear occurred in 119 cm falls and were 572 N, 23 N-m, 11 N-m and 281 N, respectively.ConclusionsFall dynamics play an important role in the biomechanical assessment of falls. Fall height was found to influence both fall dynamics and femur loading, while impact surface affected only compression and bending in feet-first falls; fall dynamics did not differ across carpet and linoleum. Improved pediatric thresholds are necessary to predict likelihood of fracture, but morphologically accurate representation of the lower extremity, along with accurate characterization of loading in falls are a crucial first step.
  • Xenon detection in human blood: Analytical validation by accuracy profile
           and identification of critical storage parameters
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 58Author(s): Cécile Frampas, Julia Ney, Mark Coburn, Marc Augsburger, Vincent Varlet Xenon is a rare, mostly inert, noble gas that has applications in a wide range of fields, including medicine. Xenon acts on the human body as a useful organ-protective and anesthetic agent and has also been previously studied for potential applications in fields such as optics, aerospace and medical imaging. Recently, it was discovered that xenon can boost erythropoietin production, and it has been used as a performance-enhancing agent in international sports competitions such as the Sochi Olympic Games. Therefore, screening methods to detect the misuse of xenon by analysis of biological samples and to monitor anesthesia kinetics and efficiency are being investigated. The aim of this study was to develop and validate an analytical method to detect xenon in blood samples using gas chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS).Preliminary studies were conducted to determine the best parameters for chromatography and mass spectrometry for xenon. The analysis was performed using the multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mode using the transitions m/z 129 → 129, 131 → 131 for xenon and 84 → 84, 86 → 86 for krypton, which was chosen as the internal standard. The LOD of GC-MS/MS was found to be 52 pmol on-column. Calibration lines and controls were made to obtain an accuracy profile at a range of 2.08–104 nmol with a β-expectation tolerance interval set at 80% and the acceptability limit set at ±30%. From the accuracy profile, the LOQ of 15 nmol on-column for the range of 2.08–104 nmol was obtained. The method was validated according to the guidelines of the French Society of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Techniques.The detection method was finally validated using blood from test persons subjected to a 15% or 30% xenon mixture with pure oxygen and air for 45 min. Even though the probes were already used for other projects, it was still possible to detect xenon.Graphical abstractImage 1
  • Estimation of stature from sternum – Exploring the quadratic models
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 58Author(s): Ashish Saraf, Tanuj Kanchan, Kewal Krishan, Navneet Ateriya, Puneet Setia Identification of the dead is significant in examination of unknown, decomposed and mutilated human remains. Establishing the biological profile is the central issue in such a scenario, and stature estimation remains one of the important criteria in this regard. The present study was undertaken to estimate stature from different parts of the sternum. A sample of 100 sterna was obtained from individuals during the medicolegal autopsies. Length of the deceased and various measurements of the sternum were measured. Student's t-test was performed to find the sex differences in stature and sternal measurements included in the study. Correlation between stature and sternal measurements were analysed using Karl Pearson's correlation, and linear and quadratic regression models were derived. All the measurements were found to be significantly larger in males than females. Stature correlated best with the combined length of sternum, among males (R = 0.894), females (R = 0.859), and for the total sample (R = 0.891). The study showed that the models derived for stature estimation from combined length of sternum are likely to give the most accurate estimates of stature in forensic case work when compared to manubrium and mesosternum. Accuracy of stature estimation further increased with quadratic models derived for the mesosternum among males and combined length of sternum among males and females when compared to linear regression models. Future studies in different geographical locations and a larger sample size are proposed to confirm the study observations.
  • Medico-legal investigation in an explicable case of congenital central
           hypoventilation syndrome due to a rare variant of the PHOX2B gene
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 58Author(s): Francesco Ventura, Rosario Barranco, Tiziana Bachetti, Paolo Nozza, Ezio Fulcheri, Antonella Palmieri, Isabella Ceccherini The heterozygous PHOX2B gene mutation is related to congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS). It is characterized by defective autonomous nervous system development leading to inadequate breathing response to hypoxia and hypercapnia, leading to hypoventilation especially during non-REM sleep, but also during waking in the more severe cases.Herein we report a case of sudden death in a 28-day-old child. The mother reported the infant was found lying on her own bed in the prone position. The infant was wearing a romper and lying in her crib without any blanket or other objects. At autopsy no significant pathological findings were detected. Histologically, sparse aspirated milk residues were present in some lung fields. Toxicological and microbiological examinations were within the norm. The initial postmortem investigation ruled out any readily identifiable cause of death. However, genetic analysis revealed a rare heterozygous 21bp in-frame deletion of the polyalanine coding sequences of the PHOX2B gene. In-frame contractions of the poly-Ala tract of the PHOX2B gene have already been reported in patients with symptoms suggestive of sporadic hypoventilation, apparent life-threatening events or neonatal respiratory distress.
  • Cerbera odollam toxicity: A review
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 58Author(s): Ritesh G. Menezes, Muhammad Shariq Usman, Syed Ather Hussain, Mohammed Madadin, Tariq Jamal Siddiqi, Huda Fatima, Pradhum Ram, Syed Bilal Pasha, S. Senthilkumaran, Tooba Qadir Fatima, Sushil Allen Luis Cerbera odollam is a plant species of the Apocynaceae family. It is often dubbed the ‘suicide tree’ due to its strong cardiotoxic effects, which make it a suitable means to attempt suicide. The plant grows in wet areas in South India, Madagascar, and Southeast Asia; and its common names include Pong-Pong and Othalanga. The poison rich part of the plant is the kernel which is present at the core of its fruit. The bioactive toxin in the plant is cerberin, which is a cardiac glycoside of the cardenolide class. Cerberin has a mechanism of action similar to digoxin; hence, Cerbera odollam toxicity manifests similar to acute digoxin poisoning. Ingestion of its kernel causes nausea, vomiting, hyperkalemia, thrombocytopenia, and ECG abnormalities. Exposure to high doses of Cerbera odollam carries the highest risk of mortality. Initial management includes supportive therapy and administration of atropine followed by temporary pacemaker insertion. Administration of digoxin immune Fab may be considered in severe cases, although efficacy is variable and data limited to isolated case reports.
  • Commentary: Disclosure in the criminal justice system
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 58Author(s): Carole McCartney
  • Age threshold for proper definition of premature coronary artery disease
           in males
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 58Author(s): Hasan A. Abderrahman, Imad M. Al-Abdallat, Ahmed K. Idhair BackgroundThere is no universally accepted definition for the cut point age before which atherosclerosis is considered “premature.” This is a retrospective study aimed to utilize the medico legal autopsy information for finding a proper definition of the age threshold of premature atherosclerosis in males.ObjectivesThis work aimed to utilize autopsy reports data that were issued at Jordan University Hospital to evaluate age-related differences in the distribution of coronary atherosclerotic and myocardial lesions and the determination of the age threshold at which such differences became apparent in male deaths. Such a threshold might provide a proper definition for premature atherosclerosis and premature sudden atherosclerotic cardiac death. At the same time, the meaning of a reference age for mature atherosclerotic death incidents could be elucidated.MethodsA total of 1139 male autopsy reports with sudden coronary atherosclerotic death were reviewed.ResultsThere is an overall decreasing trend in the prevalence of coronary thrombosis with age, where the prevalence of coronary thrombosis was more common in younger age groups and constitutes 59.9% of cases in the age groups less than 45 years in comparison to 42.7% of cases in the ages more than 65 years. The same trend was noticed for the prevalence of cases without evident myocardial fibrosis. On the other hand, the trend was increasing for stenosis without apparent thrombosis and for myocardial fibrosis. In spite of that, the detailed pattern of the prevalence of these pathologies with age did not show a steady, and a continuous change through the whole spanned age groups. Instead, two distinct phases were observed, the first phase represents the cases less than 49 years of age and the second phase represents the cases more than the age of 54 and the age group between 50/54 is what we called the “turn-interval.”ConclusionsThe “turn-interval” was considered as the scientific basis to define the age threshold that differentiates the premature atherosclerotic coronary diseases. Accordingly, it was proposed that male premature coronary artery diseases constituted the cases suffering from the heart attack, or died as a result of cardiac attacks below the age of 49, and the mature disease that affects people who is older than 54 years old.
  • Burnout subtypes and associated factors among police officers in Sri
           Lanka: A cross-sectional study
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 10 July 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Nuwan Darshana Wickramasinghe, Pushpa Ranjan Wijesinghe Even though policing is associated with very high levels of occupational stress and burnout, no studies have been conducted to explore burnout subtypes among police officers globally.Hence, this cross-sectional study was conducted among 750 police officers working in a police division in Sri Lanka to determine the distribution and associations of burnout subtypes using the Burnout Clinical Subtype Questionnaire.The police officers had high scores for frenetic and worn-out subtypes in comparison to the underchallenged subtype. Multivariable analysis elicited a multitude of statistically significant associations with burnout subtypes (p 
  • The health of female arrestees in police cells: A descriptive study
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 57Author(s): Vianney Gandon, Sophie Outh-Gauer, Patrick Chariot IntroductionLittle information is available regarding the medical status and health care needs of female arrestees. Our objective was to evaluate the perceived health and somatic or psychiatric disorders reported by female arrestees in police cells.Material and methodsWe conducted an observational study in a regional reference department of forensic medicine in France. We studied female arrestees examined in police cells (01/01/2013–06/30/2013). Data were collected regarding individuals' medical characteristics, addictive behaviours, and perceived health status, as well as reported assaults or recent traumatic injuries. We recorded medical decisions regarding fitness for detention in police cells.ResultsA total of 438 women (median age, 29; range, 13–67) accounted for 5% of the 7408 examined arrestees. Females considered their overall health as good or very good in 314/395 cases (70%). Women reported chronic somatic or psychiatric disorders more frequently than men (89/379, 23% vs. 757/6,135, 12%, p 
  • Hospital referral of detainees during police custody in Amsterdam, The
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 57Author(s): T. Dorn, A. Janssen, J.C. de Keijzer, G.L. van Rijk-Zwikker, U.J.L. Reijnders, J.S.K. Luitse, E. Vandewalle, M.P. Gorzeman, R.C. van Nieuwenhuizen, M. Ceelen, C. Das This study describes how many detainees have been referred to emergency departments for further evaluation or emergency care while in police custody in Amsterdam (years 2012/2013). It provides insights into the diagnoses assigned by forensic doctors and hospital specialists and the appropriateness of the referrals. We made use of the electronic registration system of the Forensic Medicine Department of the Public Health Service Amsterdam. This department is in charge of the medical care for detainees in the Amsterdam region. Hospital diagnoses were obtained through collaboration with several Amsterdam-based hospitals. According to our results, in 1.5% of all consultations performed, the detainee was referred to hospital. The most frequent reasons for referral were injuries (66%), intoxication/withdrawal (11%) and cardiac problems (7%). In 18% of all referrals, hospital admission (defined as at least one night in the hospital) was the consequence. After review of hospital files, the indication for referral as stated by the forensic physician was confirmed in 77% of all cases. A minority of referrals was considered unnecessary (7%). The identified cases allow for a discussion of cases of over-referral. Future research should focus on the problem of under-referral and associated health risks.
  • Doctors' attendance with arrestees in police custody: Physicians'
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 57Author(s): Aude Lepresle, Virginie Taprest, Patrick Chariot Police custody is detention in response to a suspicion of crime. In France, it lasts less than 24 h, in most cases. According to French law, any individual placed in police custody may, at the individual's request, be examined by a doctor. The doctor decides whether the detainee's state of health is compatible with detention in a police station. Our objective was to assess the attending physicians' representations of police custody and medical intervention in this setting. In this study, physicians were asked to report on their own practice in custody and the way they perceived arrestees. We conducted face-to-face semi-structured interviews with 22 physicians who attended arrestees in police custody. For some doctors, the doctor-patient relationship is unconventional because arrestees may want to cheat them and because doctors feel that they have minimal duties that are limited to keeping arrestees alive. Most doctors consider the conditions of examination markedly unsatisfactory, similar to the material conditions of detention in police cells. Some physicians are reluctant to describe traumatic injuries so that they do not appear to support the arrestees over the police. Although all doctors determine whether a detainee is fit to be detained in police cells, the rationale for this decision differs from one physician to another. Physicians consider a medical prescription legitimate when it fits with their own representation of the needs of arrestees. Physicians delimit the framework of their relationship with arrestees and restrict the requests that they consider acceptable. They have limited knowledge of the conditions of detention and show little interest in this matter. Physicians manifest a simplistic, usually negative view of the individuals that they examine in custody. However, some are aware of the deleterious effects of custody conditions on arrestees.
  • Confidentiality & consent in police custody: General principles
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 57Author(s): Jason Payne-James The care of detainees (prisoners) in police custody has had much focus in recent years. The nature of the role of the doctor or other healthcare professionals within the police custodial setting may often be subject to conflicts, but their respective duties as healthcare professionals should generally overide any police or forensic issue that may be relevant. The laws or rules or statute that govern doctor, nurse or paramedic practice may vary from country to country, but the broad principles of healthcare ethics are universal and have been formulated not only by national healthcare regulatory bodies but by international organizations such as the World Medical Association. This article discusses in particular the duties of consent and confidentiality within the police custodial setting, giving examples of where conflicts may arise, and how they should be dealt with.
  • Healthcare and forensic medical aspects of police detainees, suspects and
           complainants in Europe
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 57Author(s): Steffen Heide, Patrick Chariot, Peter Green, Jana Fabian, Jason Payne-James Death and harm is well-recognised in detainees in police custody worldwide. Based on the results of previous global surveys and the CPT (European Committee for the Prevention of Torture) recommendations a questionnaire was developed to summarise the current medical aspects of police custody in European countries. The survey was distributed to named contacts in all European countries. Data from 25 European countries was obtained.The results reveal significant differences in the regulations among the different countries, with nothing close to a harmonised European standard in place at present. This study has identified interesting variations in the methods and standards of healthcare and forensic medical services to detainees in police custody (e.g. quantitative mode of monitoring, qualification of the doctors, maximum time allowed for holding a detainee in police custody, body or an organisation that investigates complaints against the police). There are both very detailed legal regulations in some countries while in others there are only generally observed provisions that sometimes are only given in the form of recommendations.A multinational, multiprofessional expert group is required to identify best practices, recommend basic standards of care and identify qualifications which would be appropriate for healthcare professionals working in this field.
  • Custody medicine
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 57Author(s): Patrick Chariot, Steffen Heide
  • Expectations and boundaries for Big Data approaches in social medicine
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 57Author(s): Chloé Dimeglio, Michelle Kelly-Irving, Thierry Lang, Cyrille Delpierre It seems no longer possible to produce knowledge, even biological knowledge regardless of social, cultural and economic environments in which they were observed. Therefore never the term “social medicine” or more generally “social biology” has appeared more appropriate. This way of linking the social and the biological exceeds the sole social medicine by involving also other medical disciplines. As such, forensics, whose an important activity is represented by clinical forensics in charge of types of violence (physical, psychological, sexual, abuse) and persons held in custody could see its practice heavily modified through the use of various data describing both the clinical situation of patients but also their context of life. A better understanding of mechanisms of violence development and potentially a better prevention of these situations allow forensics not to be restricted (or seen as limited to) a “descriptive medicine”, but to be seen also as a preventive and curative medicine.In this evolution, the potential contribution of Big Data appears significant insofar as information on a wide range of characteristics of the environment or context of life (social, economic, cultural) can be collected and be connected with health data, for example to develop models on social determinants of health. In the common thinking, the use of a larger amount of data and consequently a multiplicity of information via a multiplicity of databases would allow to access to a greater objectivity of a reality that we are approaching by fragmented viewpoints otherwise. In this light, the “bigger” and “more varied” would serve the “better” or at least the “more true”.But to be able to consider together or to link different databases it will be necessary to know how to handle this diversity regarding hypotheses made to build databases and regarding their purposes (by whom, for what bases have been made). It will be equally important to question the representativeness of situations that led to the creation of a database and to question the validity of information and data according to the secondary or tertiary uses anticipated from their original purpose. This step of data validity control for the anticipated use is a sine qua non condition, particularly in the field of public health, to guarantee a sufficient level of quality and exploit in the best way the benefits of Big Data approaches.
  • Prediction of cause of death from forensic autopsy reports using text
           classification techniques: A comparative study
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 57Author(s): Ghulam Mujtaba, Liyana Shuib, Ram Gopal Raj, Retnagowri Rajandram, Khairunisa Shaikh ObjectivesAutomatic text classification techniques are useful for classifying plaintext medical documents. This study aims to automatically predict the cause of death from free text forensic autopsy reports by comparing various schemes for feature extraction, term weighing or feature value representation, text classification, and feature reduction.MethodsFor experiments, the autopsy reports belonging to eight different causes of death were collected, preprocessed and converted into 43 master feature vectors using various schemes for feature extraction, representation, and reduction. The six different text classification techniques were applied on these 43 master feature vectors to construct a classification model that can predict the cause of death. Finally, classification model performance was evaluated using four performance measures i.e. overall accuracy, macro precision, macro-F-measure, and macro recall.ResultsFrom experiments, it was found that that unigram features obtained the highest performance compared to bigram, trigram, and hybrid-gram features. Furthermore, in feature representation schemes, term frequency, and term frequency with inverse document frequency obtained similar and better results when compared with binary frequency, and normalized term frequency with inverse document frequency. Furthermore, the chi-square feature reduction approach outperformed Pearson correlation, and information gain approaches. Finally, in text classification algorithms, support vector machine classifier outperforms random forest, Naive Bayes, k-nearest neighbor, decision tree, and ensemble-voted classifier.ConclusionOur results and comparisons hold practical importance and serve as references for future works. Moreover, the comparison outputs will act as state-of-art techniques to compare future proposals with existing automated text classification techniques.
  • Causes of deaths data, linkages and big data perspectives
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 57Author(s): Grégoire Rey, Karim Bounebache, Claire Rondet The study of cause-specific mortality data is one of the main sources of information for public health monitoring. In most industrialized countries, when a death occurs, it is a legal requirement that a medical certificate based on the international form recommended by World Health Organization's (WHO) is filled in by a physician. The physician reports the causes of death that directly led or contributed to the death on the death certificate. The death certificate is then forwarded to a coding office, where each cause is coded, and one underlying cause is defined, using the rules of the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, now in its 10th Revision (ICD-10). Recently, a growing number of countries have adopted, or have decided to adopt, the coding software Iris, developed and maintained by an international consortium1. This whole standardized production process results in a high and constantly increasing international comparability of cause-specific mortality data. While these data could be used for international comparisons and benchmarking of global burden of diseases, quality of care and prevention policies, there are also many other ways and methods to explore their richness, especially when they are linked with other data sources. Some of these methods are potentially referring to the so-called “big data” field. These methods could be applied both to the production of the data, to the statistical processing of the data, and even more to process these data linked to other databases. In the present note, we depict the main domains in which this new field of methods could be applied. We focus specifically on the context of France, a 65 million inhabitants country with a centralized health data system. Finally we will insist on the importance of data quality, and the specific problematics related to death certification in the forensic medicine domain.
  • A survey of social media data analysis for physical activity surveillance
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 57Author(s): Sam Liu, Sean D. Young Social media data can provide valuable information regarding people's behaviors and health outcomes. Previous studies have shown that social media data can be extracted to monitor and predict infectious disease outbreaks. These same approaches can be applied to other fields including physical activity research and forensic science. Social media data have the potential to provide real-time monitoring and prediction of physical activity level in a given region. This tool can be valuable to public health organizations as it can overcome the time lag in the reporting of physical activity epidemiology data faced by traditional research methods (e.g. surveys, observational studies). As a result, this tool could help public health organizations better mobilize and target physical activity interventions. The first part of this paper aims to describe current approaches (e.g. topic modeling, sentiment analysis and social network analysis) that could be used to analyze social media data to provide real-time monitoring of physical activity level. The second aim of this paper was to discuss ways to apply social media analysis to other fields such as forensic sciences and provide recommendations to further social media research.
  • Multiple brief interventions in police custody: The MuBIC randomized
           controlled study for primary prevention in police custody. Protocol and
           preliminary results of a feasibility study in the Paris metropolitan area,
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 57Author(s): Thomas Lefèvre, Céline Denis, Claire Marchand, Camille Vidal, Rémi Gagnayre, Patrick Chariot BackgroundThe 15- to 35-year-old population has little contact with the health care system and is exposed to risk factors. Several studies demonstrated the feasibility of brief interventions (BIs) in different settings, e.g., in addiction medicine during police custody, where arrestees are entitled to a medical examination. Approximately 700,000 individuals are detained in police custody in France annually, and custody is an opportunity for young people to be medically examined. The characteristics of the detainees and previous experience with BIs suggest that custody is an opportunity to contribute to primary prevention. We propose to investigate the feasibility of such a contribution.ObjectivesThe aim of this article is to present a study protocol and some preliminary results. The primary research objective is to assess the feasibility of performing brief interventions without a specific topic in police custody settings in arrestees aged 15–35 years. The secondary research objectives include i) testing four strategies for engaging in BIs that maximize the chances of success of the BI; ii) identifying the determinants that can orient the practitioner's choice to use a specific strategy over another one; and iii) analysing the differences between individuals who engage in BIs and those who do not and, in those who do engage, the determinants of success of the intervention.MethodsA two-step randomized and prospective study: i) randomization of eligible patients into 4 groups of 500 patients each; analysis of the response rates for each strategy; performance of the BI; and analyses of the associated factors and ii) a real-life, full-scale phase study evaluating the effectiveness of BIs performance of the BI; and analyses of the interventions. Analyses of the determinants of a positive response to BI, of success and of the topic of intervention will be conducted.Expected resultsThe rates of BI performed, rates of success, and characteristics associated with response and with success are the main expected results. Additionally, the development and assessment of filter questions and an improved BI dedicated to primary prevention for police custody settings will be attained.
  • The big data potential of epidemiological studies for criminology and
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 57Author(s): Matt DeLisi Big data, the analysis of original datasets with large samples ranging from ∼30,000 to one million participants to mine unexplored data, has been under-utilized in criminology. However, there have been recent calls for greater synthesis between epidemiology and criminology and a small number of scholars have utilized epidemiological studies that were designed to measure alcohol and substance use to harvest behavioral and psychiatric measures that relate to the study of crime. These studies have been helpful in producing knowledge about the most serious, violent, and chronic offenders, but applications to more pathological forensic populations is lagging. Unfortunately, big data relating to crime and justice are restricted and limited to criminal justice purposes and not easily available to the research community. Thus, the study of criminal and forensic populations is limited in terms of data volume, velocity, and variety. Additional forays into epidemiology, increased use of available online judicial and correctional data, and unknown new frontiers are needed to bring criminology up to speed in the big data arena.
  • Semantic interoperability challenges to process large amount of data
           perspectives in forensic and legal medicine
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 57Author(s): Marie-Christine Jaulent, Damien Leprovost, Jean Charlet, Remy Choquet This article is a position paper dealing with semantic interoperability challenges. It addresses the Variety and Veracity dimensions when integrating, sharing and reusing large amount of heterogeneous data for data analysis and decision making applications in the healthcare domain. Many issues are raised by the necessity to conform Big Data to interoperability standards. We discuss how semantics can contribute to the improvement of information sharing and address the problem of data mediation with domain ontologies. We then introduce the main steps for building domain ontologies as they could be implemented in the context of Forensic and Legal medicine. We conclude with a particular emphasis on the current limitations in standardisation and the importance of knowledge formalization.
  • Big data uncertainties
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 57Author(s): Pierre-André G. Maugis Big data—the idea that an always-larger volume of information is being constantly recorded—suggests that new problems can now be subjected to scientific scrutiny. However, can classical statistical methods be used directly on big data' We analyze the problem by looking at two known pitfalls of big datasets. First, that they are biased, in the sense that they do not offer a complete view of the populations under consideration. Second, that they present a weak but pervasive level of dependence between all their components. In both cases we observe that the uncertainty of the conclusion obtained by statistical methods is increased when used on big data, either because of a systematic error (bias), or because of a larger degree of randomness (increased variance). We argue that the key challenge raised by big data is not only how to use big data to tackle new problems, but to develop tools and methods able to rigorously articulate the new risks therein.
  • Big data in forensic science and medicine
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 57Author(s): Thomas Lefèvre In less than a decade, big data in medicine has become quite a phenomenon and many biomedical disciplines got their own tribune on the topic. Perspectives and debates are flourishing while there is a lack for a consensual definition for big data. The 3Vs paradigm is frequently evoked to define the big data principles and stands for Volume, Variety and Velocity. Even according to this paradigm, genuine big data studies are still scarce in medicine and may not meet all expectations. On one hand, techniques usually presented as specific to the big data such as machine learning techniques are supposed to support the ambition of personalized, predictive and preventive medicines. These techniques are mostly far from been new and are more than 50 years old for the most ancient. On the other hand, several issues closely related to the properties of big data and inherited from other scientific fields such as artificial intelligence are often underestimated if not ignored. Besides, a few papers temper the almost unanimous big data enthusiasm and are worth attention since they delineate what is at stakes. In this context, forensic science is still awaiting for its position papers as well as for a comprehensive outline of what kind of contribution big data could bring to the field. The present situation calls for definitions and actions to rationally guide research and practice in big data. It is an opportunity for grounding a true interdisciplinary approach in forensic science and medicine that is mainly based on evidence.
  • Aims & Scope/Editorial Board
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 57Author(s):
  • Deaths in police custody
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 57Author(s): Steffen Heide, Theodore Chan Deaths in police custody often attract a huge amount of public interest and are frequently associated with controversy related to causation. While systematic investigations of deaths in police custody are currently available for countries in Europe, North America and Australia, the different inclusion and exclusion criteria and the lack of a uniform definition limits their comparability.Rates of death vary by age and gender with some similarities across different countries and continents. The male dominance is essentially due to the fact that around the world women are much less frequently taken into police custody than men.Similarly, in the U.S., the most common cause of custody death was natural illness and disease progression such as heart disease and cancer; along with high rates of suicide deaths. In most European countries there is a considerable dominance of non-natural deaths. The causes of death are dominated by alcohol, drugs and medications, but suicide, injury and trauma are also common.Deaths in custody require careful investigation to determine causality as well as culpability when appropriate. While many deaths may not be preventable, some are. Further systematic research of this issue, including detailed analyses and investigations of such cases, is necessary to develop general and specific preventative measures to reduce the risk of death in the custody population.
  • Police custody in the north of England: Findings from a health needs
           assessment in Durham and Darlington
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 57Author(s): Charlie Brooker, Karen Tocque, Damian Mitchell, Malcolm Pearce AimsTo report on a health needs assessment undertaken in the Durham Constabulary (England) in 2013.MethodologyThe health needs assessment employed a variety of methods: analysis of arrest and healthcare data over a one year period; semi-structured interviews with the police and healthcare staff; and a survey of detainees' view of healthcare.Main findingsThe main finding was that the healthcare provider to custody in Durham was delivering an appropriate multi-professional team of nurse, paramedics and forensic medical examiners that was responsive, trusted by the police and which gave detainee's few concerns.LimitationsThe main limitations are that the health needs assessment analysed retrospective data and did not examine healthcare outcomes.
  • Forensic investigations: An introduction, Brent E. Turvey, Stan Crowder.
           Academic Press (2017), ISBN 978-0-12-800680-1
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 6 June 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): R. Skourat
  • Erratum to ‘Estimation of postmortem interval (PMI) based on empty
           puparia of Phormia regina (Meigen) (Diptera: Calliphoridae) and third
           larval stage of Necrodes littoralis (L.) (Coleoptera: Silphidae) –
           Advantages of using different PMI indicators’ [J Forensic Leg Med,
           55(2018), 95–98]
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 April 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): D. Bajerlein, D. Taberski, S. Matuszewski
  • Corrigendum to “Unnatural pregnancy deaths in Las Vegas: A descriptive
           study” [J. Forensic and Leg. Med., 44 (2016) 79–83]
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 March 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Anthea B.M. Paul, Lary Simms, Abraham Ebenezer Paul, Jojo Yorke, Tarnjot Saroya, Christopher Schmidseder, Andrew A. Mahesan, Arnold M. Mahesan
  • Corrigendum to “Accessibility of prison healthcare for elderly inmates,
           a qualitative assessment” [J Forensic Leg Med 52 (November 2017)
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 14 March 2018Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Raheleh Heidari, Tenzin Wangmo, Serena Galli, David M. Shaw, Bernice S. Elger, Violet Handtke, Wiebke Bretschneider
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