Journal Cover Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
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   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
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   Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3118 journals]
  • Epidemiological profile of snake-bite cases from Haryana: A five year
           (2011–2015) retrospective study
    • Authors: Saurabh Bhargava; Ramanjeet Kaur; Rajvinder Singh
      Pages: 9 - 13
      Abstract: Publication date: February 2018
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 54
      Author(s): Saurabh Bhargava, Ramanjeet Kaur, Rajvinder Singh
      Varieties of venomous snakes inhabit in the world which accidentally take thousands of human lives every year. This severe medical emergency constantly persuades national and international health agencies to look at efficient epidemiological profiling of snake-bite cases for the proper management of this sympathetic problem. Establishing the accurate database of snake-bite in humans from different localities of India may perhaps lack certainty due to few inevitable reasons such as consideration of this problem as less emergent problem in disparity to pesticide poisoning, difficulty in the accessibility to rural and tribal areas where chances of snake-bite remain ceiling, lack of inspiring models of snake-bite management training, reduced reporting system, and pitiable maintenance of hospital data in India. Therefore, the present modest study was carried out to explore valuable information regarding snake-bite problem in Haryana. Factual data on snake-bite incidences happened from 2011 to 2015 were collected from government hospitals and medical institutes of Haryana. This retrospective study disclosed a few characteristic points related to the frequency of snake-bite cases, gender involved, anti-snake venom (ASV) treatment, and numbers of deaths with snake-bite. Records revealed a total of 6555 cases of snake-bite including 130 deaths reported in Haryana during the study period. A significant variation in the occurrence of snake-bite cases was also recorded in different areas of Haryana. There was a huge database of recorded snake-bite cases from government medical institute but district wise survey disclosed the maximum number of snake-bite incidences, especially amongst males from Panchkula. The present study has provided a more updated and comprehensive record of snake-bite from Haryana during 2011–2015. A huge burden of snake-bite amongst human was found in Haryana; hence, the findings of this study purposely enlighten people about the size of this problem in the selected region. However, this study also remained limited due to lack of information on a few important parameters and availability of homogeneous data.

      PubDate: 2018-01-05T15:13:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.12.004
      Issue No: Vol. 54 (2018)
       
  • A retrospective study of sexual offences in Zambia
    • Authors: Innocent Makasa; Laura Jane Heathfield
      Pages: 23 - 33
      Abstract: Publication date: February 2018
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 54
      Author(s): Innocent Makasa, Laura Jane Heathfield
      Zambia has recently reported high incidences of sexual abuse against women and children. Zambian law categorises sexual offences into rape, defilement, incest and others, with defilement constituting the majority of the reported cases (>89%). Between 2010 and 2012, convictions of defilement cases were achieved in only 13% of cases reported to the police. DNA evidence has shown prominence in resolving crimes, specifically as an identification tool in sexual offences. Currently there is no empirical evidence describing the role of forensic evidence in sexual crimes in Zambia; as such a retrospective study was conducted to evaluate this between 2007 and 2014 (n = 1154). Only 14 (0.1%) of the cases had forensic samples collected in the form of a vaginal swab for semen analysis. In all cases where a suspect was identified (60%), identification was based on the witness/victim testimonies, and in no case, was forensic DNA evidence used to assist in identification or corroborate the testimonies. Overall, 28.1% of cases were taken to court and the conviction rate was 12.4%. These findings support the use of employing DNA evidence in sexual offence cases to aid the identification of suspects, which is hypothesised to increase the number of cases prosecuted in Zambia.

      PubDate: 2018-01-05T15:13:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.12.009
      Issue No: Vol. 54 (2018)
       
  • Age determination by spheno-occipital synchondrosis fusion in Central
           Indian population
    • Authors: Rajeshwar Sambhaji Pate; Chaitanya Vidyadhar Tingne; Pradeep Gangadhar Dixit
      Pages: 39 - 43
      Abstract: Publication date: February 2018
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 54
      Author(s): Rajeshwar Sambhaji Pate, Chaitanya Vidyadhar Tingne, Pradeep Gangadhar Dixit
      The spheno occipital suture synchondrosis is a vital contributor to adolescent and adult age estimation in that it can provide an upper or lower age bound depending on its state of fusion. The present study evaluates the utility of the spheno-occipital suture fusion in age estimation of the Central Indian population. The sample includes 198 (117 males and 81 females) cadavers aged between 8 to 26 years. Grading was done using Mitra-Akhlaghi Scale as - Open, Semi closed and Closed. Our study demonstrates that a significant linear correlation exists between the age of an individual and spheno-occipital suture closure for both the sexes and observation of the degree of fusion of this single suture allows the prediction of age in mature individuals.

      PubDate: 2018-01-05T15:13:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.12.013
      Issue No: Vol. 54 (2018)
       
  • Assessment of the mental health status of a one year cohort attending a
           two Sexual Assault Referral Centres in England
    • Authors: Charlie Brooker; Karen Tocque; Sheila Paul
      Pages: 44 - 49
      Abstract: Publication date: February 2018
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 54
      Author(s): Charlie Brooker, Karen Tocque, Sheila Paul
      A one year audit was undertaken of the mental health (MH) status of adult attendees to the Thames Valley Sexual Assault Centres (SARC). There were 301 relevant referrals over the twelve month period of whom 126 (42%) either fully or partially completed the mental health assessments. 38% (n = 66) of the population did not consent to the research. Participation in the study was felt inappropriate by the case clinician in the rest of the cases. To summarise the findings: 36% were moderately or severely depressed; 30% experienced moderate to severe anxiety; 28% were drinking at hazardous/harmful levels; and 12% had a drug problem that was moderate to severe. Self harm affected 45% of the sample with the greater majority cutting themselves and self-harming before the age of 17. Admission to a psychiatric in-patient unit was not uncommon and 19% had been admitted an average of three times each. The figure of 19% admitted to a psychiatric hospital is 90 times higher than for the general female population. 42% of the total sample were being prescribed medication for their mental health problem. The paper concludes that: there should be agreement nationally on the use of a standardised set of mental health outcome measures which are used in all assessments; there should be a move towards the commissioning of expert psychological support that is offered in a SARC and the pathways for specialist mental health care out of the SARCs. Finally, forensic physicians and general practitioners needs a greater awareness of the mental health sequalae of sexual assault and they then need to make prompt referrals to the appropriate services.

      PubDate: 2018-01-05T15:13:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.12.018
      Issue No: Vol. 54 (2018)
       
  • Repeated attempted homicide by administration of drugs documented by hair
           analysis
    • Authors: Valérie Baillif-Couniou; Christophe Bartoli; Caroline Sastre; Marjorie Chèze; Marc Deveaux; Georges Léonetti; Anne-Laure Pélissier-Alicot
      Pages: 82 - 86
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 5 January 2018
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Valérie Baillif-Couniou, Christophe Bartoli, Caroline Sastre, Marjorie Chèze, Marc Deveaux, Georges Léonetti, Anne-Laure Pélissier-Alicot
      Attempted murder by repeated poisoning is quite rare. The authors describe the case of a 62-year-old man who was admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) for neurological disturbances complicated by inhalation pneumopathy. He presented a loss of consciousness while his wife was visiting him at the ICU (H0). Forty-eight hours later (H48), police officers apprehended the patient's wife pouring a liquid into his fruit salad at the hospital. Toxicological analyses of a blood sample and the infusion equipment (H0), as well as the fruit salad and its container (H48), confirmed the attempted poisoning with cyamemazine (H0) and hydrochloric acid (H48). In order to evaluate the anteriority of poisonings, hair analysis was requested and the medical records of the 6 previous months were also examined. Two 6-cm brown hair strands were sampled and the victim's medical record was seized in order to determine the treatments he had been given during the previous six months. Segmental hair testing on two 6-cm brown hair was conducted by GC-MS, LC-DAD and LC-MS/MS (0–2/2–4/4–6 cm; pg/mg). Haloperidol (9200/1391/227), amitriptyline (7450/1850/3260), venlafaxine (332/560/260), that had never been part of the victim's treatment were detected, as well as some benzodiazepines (alprazolam, bromazepam, nordazepam); cyamemazine was also detected in all the segments (9960/1610/2367) though only a single dose administration was reported in the medical records. The toxicological analyses performed at H0 and H48 confirmed the homicide attempts in the ICU. In addition, comparison of the results in hair analysis with the medical records confirmed repeated poisoning attempts over the previous six months, and thus explain the origin of the disorders presented by the victim. This case serves to remind us that repeated attempted murder can be difficult to diagnose and that hair analysis can be an effective way to detect such attempts.

      PubDate: 2018-01-10T15:22:20Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2018.01.001
      Issue No: Vol. 54 (2018)
       
  • Injuries associated with bunk beds that occur in jail
    • Authors: Randall T. Loder; Jocelyn Cole Young
      Pages: 13 - 16
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 53
      Author(s): Randall T. Loder, Jocelyn Cole Young
      Background There are many studies of bunk bed injuries, but none specifically addressing those occurring in jails. It was the purpose of this study to investigate the magnitude and patterns of bunk bed injuries occurring in correctional institutions. Methods The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) data for the 10 year period 2006 through 2015 due to bunk beds was accessed. Injuries involving bunk beds were identified and the mechanism of injury determined. Statistical analyses were performed with SUDAAN 10™ software. A p < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results There were an estimated 639,505 ED visits for bunk bed associated injuries; 51,204 occurred in jail. All jail cases occurred in the age groups ≥10 years (177,165); 29% of these 177,165 sustained the injury in jail. Those who sustained a bunk bed injury in jail compared to those who did not were older, more commonly male, seen in smaller hospitals, more likely admitted, and more frequently associated with a seizure. For those injuries occurring in jail, the most common injury in the trunk and lower extremity was a strain/sprain; the upper extremity a contusion/abrasion; and the head/neck a laceration or traumatic brain injury. A fall off the bunk bed accounted for 71.8% of the injuries, had the highest hospital admission rate (7.4%), accounted for all of the spine injuries, 96% of the head injuries, and had the highest proportion of fractures (14.4%). Inmates having a seizure before the injury sustained fewer fractures, more lacerations, and more head/neck injuries. Conclusions Injuries in jail account for 29% of all bunk bed injuries resulting in an ED visit in the USA in those age groups ≥10 years. A fall from the bed occurred in 72% and a seizure disorder was 4.5 times more common in jail inmates compared to non inmates. Possible prevention strategies include railings/ladders to reduce the incidence of falls, changes in flooring surfaces, and seizure education and placing inmates with seizure and/or alcohol related disorders on the bottom bunk. This will require a multidisciplinary approach involving the disciplines of medicine, material engineering, and criminal justice.

      PubDate: 2018-01-05T15:13:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.10.007
      Issue No: Vol. 53 (2018)
       
  • Anthropometric measurements in Iranian men
    • Authors: Jaber Gharehdaghi; Maryam Baazm; Masoud Ghadipasha; Sadra Solhi; Farhoud Toutounchian
      Pages: 31 - 34
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 53
      Author(s): Jaber Gharehdaghi, Maryam Baazm, Masoud Ghadipasha, Sadra Solhi, Farhoud Toutounchian
      There is inevitable need for data regarding anthropometric measurements of each community's population. These anthropometric data have various applications, including health assessment, industrial designing, plastic & orthopedic surgery, nutritional studies, anatomical studies and forensic medicine investigations. Anthropometric parameters vary from race to race throughout the world, hence providing an anthropometric profile model of residents of different geographic regions seems to be necessary. To our knowledge, there is no report of bone parameters of the Iranian population. The present study was carried out to provide data on anthropomorphic bone parameters of the Iranian population, as a basis for future relevant studies. We calculated most of the known anthropometric parameters including skull, mandible, clavicle, scapula, humerus, radius, ulna, sacrum, hip, femur, tibia and fibula of 225 male corpses during a period of 2 years (2014–2016). Data expression was done as mean ± standard deviation. The results consist the first documented report on anthropometric bone measurement profile of Iranian male population, that can be considered a valuable source of data for future research on Iranian population in this regard.

      PubDate: 2018-01-05T15:13:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.10.013
      Issue No: Vol. 53 (2018)
       
  • The neurocognitive effects of a conducted electrical weapon compared to
           high intensity interval training and alcohol intoxication - implications
           for Miranda and consent
    • Authors: D. Dawes; J. Ho; A.S. Vincent; P. Nystrom; B. Driver
      Pages: 51 - 57
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 53
      Author(s): D. Dawes, J. Ho, A.S. Vincent, P. Nystrom, B. Driver
      While the physiologic effects of conducted electrical weapons (CEW) have been the subjects of numerous studies over nearly two decades, their effects on neurocognitive functioning, both short-term and long-term, have only recently been studied. In a 2014 study involving use-of-force scenarios, including a CEW scenario, we found that there was a decline in neurocognitive performance immediately post-scenario in all groups; however this effect was transient, of questionable clinical/legal significance, not statistically different between the groups, and, returned to baseline by one hour post-scenario. Two subsequent studies by other authors have also found transient neurocognitive effects in the immediate post-exposure period; however, in one study, the effect was greater in one measure (of 5) for the CEW compared to exertion, and the authors suggested that this effect could have implications for the Miranda waiver obtained before custodial interrogation as well as consent. In our current study, we compared the neurocognitive effects of an exposure to a CEW to another exertion regimen, as well as to alcohol intoxication given the latter has significant established case law with regard to the Miranda waiver and consent. Such a comparison may offer more insight into the clinical/legal significance of any measured changes. As with the prior studies, the neurocognitive performance decrements of the CEW and exertion regimens, found only in one measure in this study (of three), were transient, and here, non-significant. Only alcohol intoxication resulted in statistically significant performance declines across all measures and these were persistent over the study period. Given that the neurocognitive changes associated with the CEW were non-significant, but were significant for alcohol intoxication, and given that current case law does not use intoxication as a per se or bright line barrier to Miranda and consent, our results do not suggest that a CEW exposure should preclude waiving of Miranda rights or obtaining consent.

      PubDate: 2018-01-05T15:13:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.11.001
      Issue No: Vol. 53 (2018)
       
  • Alcohol use by suicide victims in the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil,
           2011–2015
    • Authors: Raphael Eduardo Marques Gonçalves; Júlio de Carvalho Ponce; Vilma Leyton
      Pages: 68 - 72
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 53
      Author(s): Raphael Eduardo Marques Gonçalves, Júlio de Carvalho Ponce, Vilma Leyton
      Excessive alcohol consumption is a serious public health issue, because drunkenness affects critical judgment and self-control which could trigger violent and self-harm behavior, with thus a potential association between alcohol consumption and suicide deaths. The objective of the present study was to assess the association between alcohol consumption and suicide deaths in the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil, from 2011 to 2015, and its relationship with socio-demographic characteristics of the victims and the circumstances of the suicide. A cross-sectional retrospective study was conducted by collection of data from 1,700 suicide victims subjected to examination of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) from toxicology reports from the Institute of Legal Medicine of the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Alcohol was detected in blood samples of 30.2% of the victims and mean BAC levels were 1.73 ± 0.08 g/L. The mean age of the victims was 39.90 ± 0.75 years. The majority of the victims were male (74.6%) and the prevalence of positive BAC was higher amongst men (34.7%) than women (17.1%), p<0.05. The majority of the victims were white skinned (64.7%), but there was a higher proportion of victims with positive BAC among mulatto and black individuals, p<0.05. Hanging was the most prevalent suicide method in the sample (48.7%) and amongst men (55.4%), but amongst women it was jumping from a height (35%), p < 0.05.

      PubDate: 2018-01-05T15:13:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.11.006
      Issue No: Vol. 53 (2018)
       
  • Women victims of intentional homicide in Italy: New insights comparing
           Italian trends to German and U.S. trends, 2008–2014
    • Authors: Claudio Terranova; Margherita Zen
      Pages: 73 - 78
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 53
      Author(s): Claudio Terranova, Margherita Zen
      National statistics on female homicide could be a useful tool to evaluate the phenomenon and plan adequate strategies to prevent and reduce this crime. The aim of the study is to contribute to the analysis of intentional female homicides in Italy by comparing Italian trends to German and United States trends from 2008 to 2014. This is a population study based on data deriving primarily from national and European statistical institutes, from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reporting and from the National Center for Health Statistics. Data were analyzed in relation to trends and age by Chi-square test, Student's t-test and linear regression. Results show that female homicides, unlike male homicides, remained stable in the three countries. Regression analysis showed a higher risk for female homicide in all age groups in the U.S. Middle-aged women result at higher risk, and the majority of murdered women are killed by people they know. These results confirm previous findings and suggest the need to focus also in Italy on preventive strategies to reduce those precipitating factors linked to violence and present in the course of a relationship or within the family.

      PubDate: 2018-01-05T15:13:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.11.007
      Issue No: Vol. 53 (2018)
       
  • Pediatric medicolegal autopsy in France: A forensic histopathological
           approach
    • Authors: Clémence Delteil; Lucile Tuchtan; Julia Torrents; Caroline Capuani; Marie-Dominique Piercecchi-Marti
      Pages: 106 - 111
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 53
      Author(s): Clémence Delteil, Lucile Tuchtan, Julia Torrents, Caroline Capuani, Marie-Dominique Piercecchi-Marti
      The aim of postmortem medicolegal examination in pediatric death is primarily to establish the circumstances and causes of death and to exclude child abuse. In France, pediatric death is systematically documented by medicolegal or medical autopsy. In case of medicolegal autopsy, the complementary examinations, requested and financed by justice, are rarely limited to a histopathological examination. However in medical autopsies other tools are available to the pathologist as toxicology, biochemistry and molecular biology. The purpose of this article is to evaluate the efficacy of forensic histopathology in pediatric forensic autopsies. We analyze the main causes of pediatric death in a forensic context. Between 2004 and 2015, 157 infant deaths were identified in Marseille university hospital. The forensic histopathology and autopsy reports of all 157 cases were available for systematic review. Medical or surgical causes represented 41,3% of deaths in our center, accidental causes 8.1% and child abuse 28,8%. The definitive diagnosis was made at autopsy in 30% of cases and at histopathological examination in 70% highlighting that forensic histopathology is an indispensable tool in pediatric medicolegal autopsies. Significant histological abnormalities may be detected in selected organs such as the brain, lungs, heart, liver, adrenal glands and kidneys in spite of macroscopically normal appearances. This justifies systematic sampling of all organs. Despite the implementation of the French sudden infant death protocol which recommends medical autopsies, too many pediatric autopsies are carried out in a medicolegal context. 30% of the cases remain without diagnosis at the end of the autopsy and histological examination. This number could be reduced by the contribution of others laboratory investigation.

      PubDate: 2018-01-05T15:13:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.11.010
      Issue No: Vol. 53 (2018)
       
  • External foam and the post-mortem period in freshwater drowning; results
           from a retrospective study in Amsterdam, the Netherlands
    • Authors: G. Reijnen; M.C. Buster; P.J.E. Vos; U.J.L. Reijnders
      Pages: 1 - 4
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 52
      Author(s): G. Reijnen, M.C. Buster, P.J.E. Vos, U.J.L. Reijnders
      Introduction Determining the time of death of bodies recovered from water can be difficult. A feature of drowning is the presence of external foam. This study describes the presence of external foam in relation to the post-mortem period. Method The study utilizes a database of death reports dated between January 2011 and July 2016. For bodies recovered from fresh water, the presence or absence of external foam was noted. Results In this study, 112 death reports are included. Of these reports, 18 mentioned external foam, which account for 16.1% of the entire study population. In the population with a post-mortem period of less than 24 h, external foam was detected in 27.7% of cases. All 18 incidents with external foam had an estimated post-mortem period of less than 24 h. Conclusion In our study, external foam was only present in freshwater drowning cases with a post-mortem period of less than 24 h. Based on this finding, the presence of external foam may be useful as an additional indicator when estimating the time of death in freshwater drowning.

      PubDate: 2018-01-05T15:13:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.07.013
      Issue No: Vol. 52 (2018)
       
  • Elderly suicide in Eskisehir, Turkey
    • Authors: Kenan Karbeyaz; Adnan Çelikel; Emrah Emiral; Gülsüm Öztürk Emiral
      Pages: 12 - 15
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 52
      Author(s): Kenan Karbeyaz, Adnan Çelikel, Emrah Emiral, Gülsüm Öztürk Emiral
      Old age should be examined separately from other stages of life in terms of ratio, method and motives for suicide. With some variation, epidemiological studies suggest suicides increase with age in virtually every society. This study examines demographic data (age, sex and marital status), and other factors related to 20-years (1997–2016) of completed elder suicides in Eskisehir, Turkey. The 74 cases of those 65 and over were evaluated with regard to method, tool and location of the suicide. Annual distributions illustrate gradual increases in this fatal self-harm over time. The vast majority of cases were male (74.3%), compared to female (25.6%). Elders in the 80–84 age range were most likely to kill themselves. Deaths were frequently caused by hanging, followed by other methods and took place in the home. Reasons associated with suicidal behavior included despair as a result of bereavement, mental illnesses, chronic physical conditions and living alone. The researchers cite potential prevention strategies through the use of early mental health treatment for elders, along with inclusion in social services and activities.

      PubDate: 2018-01-05T15:13:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.06.004
      Issue No: Vol. 52 (2018)
       
  • Post-mortem findings in 22 fatal Taxus baccata intoxications and a
           possible solution to its detection
    • Authors: Guido Reijnen; Corine Bethlehem; Jacquo M.B.L. van Remmen; Hans J.M. Smit; Matthijs van Luin; Udo J.L. Reijnders
      Pages: 56 - 61
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 52
      Author(s): Guido Reijnen, Corine Bethlehem, Jacquo M.B.L. van Remmen, Hans J.M. Smit, Matthijs van Luin, Udo J.L. Reijnders
      Background The yew (Taxus baccata) is a common evergreen tree containing the toxin taxine B. Between 42 and 91 g of yew leaf is lethal to a 70-kg adult. The objective of this article is to present an overview of findings in fatal yew intoxications. Methods A search using MeSH terms was performed in PubMed for yew intoxications in the period between January 1960 and August of 2016. Results We describe a total of 22 cases. Fatal intoxications can be divided into intoxications by leaves, by pulp, by bark and by yew tea. Recognizing yew tea intoxication is difficult since tea no longer contains any botanically recognisable parts. In autopsy and external examination no characteristic findings are reported, regarding the presence of parts of plants. Conclusions Indications for yew tree intoxications at a post-mortem examination and autopsy are limited to finding parts of yew tree. The absence of recognisable parts can result in yew intoxications being overlooked. Therefore toxicological screening is recommended in unexplained deaths.

      PubDate: 2018-01-05T15:13:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.08.016
      Issue No: Vol. 52 (2018)
       
  • Detection of prostate specific antigen and semenogelin in specimens from
           female rape victims
    • Authors: Papanu Suttipasit; Surachet Wongwittayapanich
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 4 January 2018
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Papanu Suttipasit, Surachet Wongwittayapanich
      The presence of semen is generally accepted as evidence in sexual assault cases prosecution. Detection of sperm is confirmation of semen; however, sperm cannot always be detected. Prostate specific antigen (PSA) and semenogelin (Sg) are used as semen biomarkers. We compared the detection rate and persistence of sperm, PSA and Sg over a range of time intervals from the time of assault to specimen collection. The results show that sperm had the longest persistence and highest detection rate. The detection rate of the Sg test was significantly better than that of the PSA test overall, whether the sperm test was negative or positive. In conclusion, the detection of sperm should be the first test executed: if sperm is not detected, the Sg test is more suitable than the PSA test and could be used up to 72 h after assault.

      PubDate: 2018-01-05T15:13:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.12.017
       
  • The effect of altitude and climate on the suicide rates in Turkey
    • Authors: Mahmut Asirdizer; Erhan Kartal; Yasin Etli; Ertugrul Tatlisumak; Orhan Gumus; Yavuz Hekimoglu; Sıddık Keskin
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 4 January 2018
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Mahmut Asirdizer, Erhan Kartal, Yasin Etli, Ertugrul Tatlisumak, Orhan Gumus, Yavuz Hekimoglu, Sıddık Keskin
      Suicide is one of the most important public health problems. There was an association between suicide and several factors such as psychiatric diseases and psychological characteristics, somatic illness, cultural, socioeconomic, familial, occupational and individual risk factors. Also, high altitude and climatic factors including high temperature, cloudiness, more sunshine and low rainfalls were defined as some of these risk factors in the literature. In this study, we aimed to investigate correlation between suicide rates and altitudes of all cities in Turkey and between suicide rates and climatic factors including Rainfall Activity Index, Winter Mean Temperatures, Summer Mean Temperatures and Temperature Difference between January and July previously defined by several authors in the broad series in Turkey. In Turkey, 29865 suicidal deaths occurred in 10 years period between 2006 and 2015. Of them, 21020 (70.4%) were males and 8845 (29.6%) were females. In this study, we found that high altitude above 1500 m, winter median temperature lower than −10 °C and hard temperature changes above 25 °C between winter and summer of settlements were important factors that affected on female suicide rates appropriate to knowledge which defined in previous studies. In conclusion, we suggested that the associations among suicide rates with altitudes and climate should be studied in wider series obtained from different countries for reaching more reliable results.

      PubDate: 2018-01-05T15:13:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.12.012
       
  • Dental age estimation employing CBCT scans enhanced with Mimics software:
           Comparison of two different approaches using pulp/tooth volumetric
           analysis
    • Authors: Muhammad Khan Asif; Phrabhakaran Nambiar; Shani Ann Mani; Norliza Binti Ibrahim; Iqra Muhammad Khan; Prema A/p Sukumaran
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 4 January 2018
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Muhammad Khan Asif, Phrabhakaran Nambiar, Shani Ann Mani, Norliza Binti Ibrahim, Iqra Muhammad Khan, Prema A/p Sukumaran
      The methods of dental age estimation and identification of unknown deceased individuals are evolving with the introduction of advanced innovative imaging technologies in forensic investigations. However, assessing small structures like root canal volumes can be challenging in spite of using highly advanced technology. The aim of the study was to investigate which amongst the two methods of volumetric analysis of maxillary central incisors displayed higher strength of correlation between chronological age and pulp/tooth volume ratio for Malaysian adults. Volumetric analysis of pulp cavity/tooth ratio was employed in Method 1 and pulp chamber/crown ratio (up to cemento-enamel junction) was analysed in Method 2. The images were acquired employing CBCT scans and enhanced by manipulating them with the Mimics software. These scans belonged to 56 males and 54 females and their ages ranged from 16 to 65 years. Pearson correlation and regression analysis indicated that both methods used for volumetric measurements had strong correlation between chronological age and pulp/tooth volume ratio. However, Method 2 gave higher coefficient of determination value (R2 = 0.78) when compared to Method 1 (R2 = 0.64). Moreover, manipulation in Method 2 was less time consuming and revealed higher inter-examiner reliability (0.982) as no manual intervention during ‘multiple slice editing phase’ of the software was required. In conclusion, this study showed that volumetric analysis of pulp cavity/tooth ratio is a valuable gender independent technique and the Method 2 regression equation should be recommended for dental age estimation.

      PubDate: 2018-01-05T15:13:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.12.010
       
  • Stature estimation formulae for Mexican contemporary population: A sample
           based study of long bones
    • Authors: Antinea Menéndez Garmendia; Gabriela Sánchez-Mejorada; Jorge A. Gómez-Valdés
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 January 2018
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Antinea Menéndez Garmendia, Gabriela Sánchez-Mejorada, Jorge A. Gómez-Valdés
      Stature estimation is an important step to create a biological profile for human identification of unknown individuals in forensic anthropological practice, and it is well known that the long bone length is highly correlated with this feature. The purpose of the present study is to develop formulae for height estimation, based on simple linear regression model for humerus, femur and tibia in Mexican contemporary population. Stature was taken in 56 males and 30 female corpses as well as maximum length of three long bones of the limbs after autopsy following the Menéndez et al. (2014) criteria, at the Facultad de Medicina (School of Medicine) of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Based on this data, equations for each sex and for the three long bones were developed, obtaining a highly significant (p < .001) linear regression models with correlation coefficients of r = 0.820 for female femur and r = 0.855 for male tibia. In this manner, the new formulae provide better and reliable results of stature estimation for the contemporary population of Mexico.

      PubDate: 2018-01-05T15:13:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.12.019
       
  • Cementum as a source of DNA in challenging forensic cases
    • Authors: Hussam Mansour; Oliver Krebs; Jan Peter Sperhake; Christa Augustin; Till Koehne; Michael Amling; Klaus Püschel
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 January 2018
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Hussam Mansour, Oliver Krebs, Jan Peter Sperhake, Christa Augustin, Till Koehne, Michael Amling, Klaus Püschel
      Each forensic case is characterized by its own uniqueness. Deficient forensic cases require additional sources of human identifiers to assure the identity. We report on two different cases illustrating the role of teeth in answering challenging forensic questions. The first case involves identification of an adipocere male found in a car submersed in water for approximately 2 years. The second scenario, which involves paternity DNA testing of an exhumed body, was performed approximately 2.8 years post-mortem. The difficulty in anticipating the degradation of the DNA is one of the main obstacles. DNA profiling of dental tissues, DNA quantification by using real-time PCR (PowerQuant™ System/Promega) and a histological dental examination have been performed to address the encountered impediments of adverse post-mortem changes. Our results demonstrate that despite the adverse environmental conditions, a successful STR profile of DNA isolated from the root of teeth can be generated with respect to tooth type and apportion. We conclude that cementocytes are a fruitful source of DNA. Cementum resists DNA degradation in comparison to other tissues with respect to the intra- and inter-individual variation of histological and anatomical structures.

      PubDate: 2018-01-05T15:13:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.12.015
       
  • First survey of forensically important insects from human corpses in
           Shiraz, Iran
    • Authors: Mohammad D. Moemenbellah-Fard; Davood Keshavarzi; Mehran Fereidooni; Aboozar Soltani
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 January 2018
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Mohammad D. Moemenbellah-Fard, Davood Keshavarzi, Mehran Fereidooni, Aboozar Soltani
      The presence of insects on human cadavers has potential judicial value in medicolegal cases. This research emphasized the important role of insects in postmortem decomposition. It was conducted to investigate the composition and abundance of insects from human corpses during autopsies in legal medicine. It was implemented in the city of Shiraz, south Iran. Insects associated with human corpses were carefully collected and put into labelled vials. They were then identified using valid taxonomic keys. Fifteen outdoor (67%) and indoor discovered cadavers were examined. All but one was covered at the time of discovery. From these several species of entomofauna played important roles in the minimum postmortem interval (minPMI) estimate. Insects included the orders of Diptera and Coleoptera. Overall, 14 different species of arthropods were identified. Within Diptera, 2 families of Sarcophagidae and Calliphoridae were present in 73% of the cases with Calliphora vicina Robineau-Desvoidy and Chrysomya albiceps Wiedemann accounting for about half of the cases. The latter family members, Calliphoridae, were more frequently (52%) collected in autumn and winter. Only 4/15 outdoor cadavers had beetles. Four species of Coleopterans; namely Dermestes frischii Kugelann, Nitidula flavomaculata Rossi, Creophilus maxillosus Linnaeus and Saprinus chalcites Illiger; were recorded for the first time from 3 corpses in Iran. The presence and diversity of different insects on human corpses could contribute to the advancement of forensic entomology knowledge and the refined estimates of minPMI in medicolegal cases.

      PubDate: 2018-01-05T15:13:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.12.016
       
  • The application of frontal sinus index and frontal sinus area in sex
           estimation based on lateral cephalograms among Han nationality adults in
           Xinjiang
    • Authors: Huifang Luo; Jierui Wang; Shuang Zhang; Congbo Mi
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 January 2018
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Huifang Luo, Jierui Wang, Shuang Zhang, Congbo Mi
      The frontal sinus, due to its unique anatomical features, has become an important element in research for individual identification. Previous studies have demonstrated the use of frontal sinus as an indicator for sex discrimination; however, the sex discrimination rate using frontal sinus was lower compared to that using the traditional morphological methods. In order to improve the sex discrimination percentage, we developed a new method involving the measurement of the frontal sinus index and frontal sinus area from lateral cephalogram radiographs. In this study, 475 digital lateral cephalograms of adult Han citizens from Xinjiang were included. The maximum height, depth, and area of the frontal sinus were calculated using the NemoCeph NX software. The frontal sinus index (ratio of the maximum height to the depth of frontal sinus) was also computed. Statistical analysis results showed significant differences in the frontal sinus index and area between males and females. Discriminant function equation derived from this study differentiated between sexes with 76.6% accuracy. The results demonstrated that the use of frontal sinus index and area for sex discrimination was more accurate than using the frontal sinus index alone.

      PubDate: 2018-01-05T15:13:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.12.014
       
  • Health behind bars: can exploring the history of prison health systems
           impact future policy'
    • Authors: Kathryn M. Weston; Louella R. McCarthy; Isobelle Barrett Meyering; Stephen Hampton; Tobias Mackinnon
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 January 2018
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Kathryn M. Weston, Louella R. McCarthy, Isobelle Barrett Meyering, Stephen Hampton, Tobias Mackinnon
      The value of history is, indeed, not scientific but moral … it prepares us to live more humanely in the present, and to meet rather than to foretell, the future - Carl Becker 1 . Becker's quote reminds us of the importance of revealing and understanding historical practices in order to influence actions in the future. There are compelling reasons for uncovering this history, in particular to better inform government policy makers and health advocates, and to address the impacts of growing community expectations to ‘make the punishment fit the crime’.

      PubDate: 2018-01-05T15:13:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.12.011
       
  • Injuries sustained in falling fatalities in relation to different
           distances of falls
    • Authors: Hasan Abder-Rahman; Mohanad S.O. Jaber; Shrouq S. Al-Sabaileh
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 December 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Hasan Abder-Rahman, Mohanad S.O. Jaber, Shrouq S. Al-Sabaileh
      Background Falling from a distance is an important issue worldwide, which happens in different ages, genders and circumstances. It is usually not considered a medicolegal case in many countries hence no autopsy is performed. This study focused on analyzing injuries sustained in victims of falling in relation to different distances of fall. Methods Retrospective study of 352 autopsy reports of falling victims brought to the forensic pathology department at Jordan University Hospital during the period from January 1990 to March 2016. Results Among 352 cases, 256 (72.7%) were males and 96 (27.3%) were females. 303 (86.1%) cases showed accidental fall, 31 (8.8%) were suicidal, 2 (0.6%) were homicidal and un-clarified death in 16 (4.5%). Time of death was directly proportionate with the distance of fall. Victims fell from distances less than 3 m were 123 (35%), most of them were children less than 7 years 50 (40.5%) and unemployed adults more than 45 years were 48 (39.1%). They showed multiple abrasions (62.6%), few contusions (64.2%) and absent laceration of the skin (84.5%). Victims fell from distances of 3–9 m were 123 (35%), most of them were male workers 56 (60.2%). They showed multiple abrasions (63.5%), few contusions (71%) and few lacerations of skin (50.5%). Victims fell from distances more than 9 m were 136 (38.6%), most of them were male workers 71 (52.2%) and female servants 23 (17%). They showed few abrasions (80.9%), multiple contusions (64.7%) and few lacerations of skin (48.5%). The number of fractured limbs increases obviously with distances more than 3 m. Skull vault fractures were found in all distances, while skull base fractures showed in distances of 3–9 m and more than 9 m. Head injury was the most common fatal injury in all distances. Chest injuries were prominent mainly in distances more than 3 m. While abdominal injuries were mainly prominent in distances more than 9 m. Conclusions This study showed the effect of different distances of fall in causing different types of injuries in falling fatalities. Internal injuries were in a direct proportion with distances of fall, while external injuries showed a great importance in interpretation of the way of fall.

      PubDate: 2018-01-05T15:13:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.12.001
       
  • ‘Appearances are deceptive’ – External foam as an
           indicator of post-mortem period
    • Authors: Tanuj Kanchan; Ashish Saraf; Navneet Ateriya
      First page: 8
      Abstract: Publication date: February 2018
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 54
      Author(s): Tanuj Kanchan, Ashish Saraf, Navneet Ateriya


      PubDate: 2017-12-27T11:49:36Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.12.007
      Issue No: Vol. 54 (2017)
       
  • The effect of range and ammunition type on fracture patterns in porcine
           postcranial flat bones
    • Authors: Kleio Fragkouli; Eyad Al Hakeem; Ozgur Bulut; Tal Simmons
      Pages: 1 - 12
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 53
      Author(s): Kleio Fragkouli, Eyad Al Hakeem, Ozgur Bulut, Tal Simmons
      Pig half-carcasses were shot in scapulae, ribs and mandibles with either 0.243 hunting rifle using high velocity expanding ammunition (N = 30) or AK47 using full metal jacketed (FMJ) ammunition (N = 12) from a range of either 5 or 20 m. Fracture patterns related to distance of fire and ammunition type were compared on de-fleshed, macerated, and reconstructed bones. For expanding ammunition, location of fracture on ribs affected the resulting pattern. Scapulae shot from 5 m presented a comminuted pattern different from those shot from 20 m. Mandibles shot from 20 m showed a characteristic radiating pattern at entrance with the opposite ramus un-fractured; those shot from 5 m exhibited fractures to both rami. Using decision tree analysis provided accuracies of 93.8% for scapulae and 87.5% for mandibles. For FMJ, no distance dependent fracture differences were apparent in any bone. Decision tree analysis facilitated the interpretation of fracture patterns caused by projectile trauma.

      PubDate: 2017-11-03T12:24:11Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.10.004
      Issue No: Vol. 53 (2017)
       
  • Non suicidal self-injury, emotional eating and insomnia after child sexual
           abuse: Are those symptoms related to emotion regulation'
    • Authors: Esra Demirci
      Pages: 17 - 21
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 53
      Author(s): Esra Demirci
      Objective The aim of this article was to assess the effects of child sexual abuse (CSA) on emotion regulation (ER) in adolescents and to evaluate the relationships between non suicidal self-injury (NSSI), emotional eating, insomnia and emotion disregulation (ED). Method Fifty two adolescents, aged 10–18 years, without who weren't diagnosed a psychiatric disease before abuse and completed 6-months of follow-up after abuse included the study. Control group consisted of 33 healthy voluntary participants without any known psychiatric disorders. Patients and volunteers who participated in the study were assessed with the Inventory of Statements About Self-injury (ISAS), Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire (DEBQ), Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Insomnia severity index (ISI), and the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS). Results In our study, PSQI scores, DERS total scores and DEBQ emotional eating subscores were significantly higher in the CSA victims (In orderly; p = 0,034, p < 0.001, p = 0,023). 55.7% of the CSA victims reported self-injurious behavior, while 15.5% of healthy voluntary participants reporting self-injurious behavior. The CSA victims reporting NSSI had higher DERS scores than CSA victims without NSSI. (p = 0.024). The CSA victims with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and CSA victims without PTSD had a positive correlation between DEBQ emotional eating subscores and DERS total scores (In orderly: r = 0.762, p = 0.031; r = 0.872, p < 0.001). There was a positive correlation between the PSQI scores and DERS scores in the CSA victims with PTSD (r = 0.827, p = 0.023). Conclusion Further studies are needed to assess the relationship between self-injury, emotional eating, insomnia and ED, and to determine how sexual abuse effect the ER in a clinical sample of CSA.

      PubDate: 2017-11-10T12:32:51Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.10.012
      Issue No: Vol. 53 (2017)
       
  • Suicides by hanging and its association with meteorological conditions in
           São Paulo
    • Authors: Talita Zerbini; Victor Alexandre Percínio Gianvecchio; Damaris Regina; Tamy Tsujimoto; Victor Ritter; Julio M. Singer
      Pages: 22 - 24
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 53
      Author(s): Talita Zerbini, Victor Alexandre Percínio Gianvecchio, Damaris Regina, Tamy Tsujimoto, Victor Ritter, Julio M. Singer
      The main goal of this study was to evaluate the association between daily cases of hanging suicides and meteorological conditions in São Paulo, Brazil. We considered a retrospective observational study based on the analysis of all necroscopic medical-expert reports available in digital form from the central unit of the Instituto Médico Legal (Medical Legal Institute) of São Paulo between July 1, 2006 and June 31, 2007. The meteorological variables were combined via Principal Components Analysis. In order to explain their association with the frequency of suicides, Poisson regression models were employed. The analysis suggests that hotter and brighter days are associated with higher incidence of hanging suicides.

      PubDate: 2017-11-10T12:32:51Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.10.010
      Issue No: Vol. 53 (2017)
       
  • The deceleration of a spherical projectile passing through porcine organs
           at laboratory temperature (16 °C) and core body temperature (37 °C)
    • Authors: Caitlin Humphrey; Maciej Henneberg; Christian Wachsberger; Jaliya Kumaratilake
      Pages: 46 - 50
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 53
      Author(s): Caitlin Humphrey, Maciej Henneberg, Christian Wachsberger, Jaliya Kumaratilake


      PubDate: 2017-12-11T11:39:10Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.11.003
      Issue No: Vol. 53 (2017)
       
  • Histological estimation of age at death in amputated lower limbs: Issues
           
    • Authors: Amy R. Michael
      Pages: 58 - 61
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 53
      Author(s): Amy R. Michael
      Histological studies of healed bone tissue following amputation are relatively rare in the literature. This study describes the histomorphological features of femoral thin sections from six uni- and bi-lateral amputees of documented age and sex. Thin sections were cut from the midshaft of both the right and left femora from each amputee and analyzed following standard forensic methods for histological estimation of age at death from the human femur. The histological age at death estimations for the thin sections from amputated bone were consistently lower than the actual chronological age of each individual, suggesting that the effects of amputation prohibit the effective use of age at death estimation methods. The nature of each amputation is unknown, which suggests that alternative factors could be responsible for the slowed bone turnover seen in the thin sections from the amputated bone. First, it is reasonable to assume that the amputations in this sample could have resulted from complications of diabetes mellitus rather than trauma so the possible effects on bone remodeling due to disease are explored. Second, the mobility of the decedents following their amputations is unknown so the histomorphological results could be due to disuse osteoporosis.

      PubDate: 2017-12-11T11:39:10Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.11.002
      Issue No: Vol. 53 (2017)
       
  • A Student Selected Component (or Special Study Module) in Forensic and
           Legal Medicine: Design, delivery, assessment and evaluation of an optional
           module as an addition to the medical undergraduate core curriculum
    • Authors: Kieran M. Kennedy; Andrew Wilkinson
      Pages: 62 - 67
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 53
      Author(s): Kieran M. Kennedy, Andrew Wilkinson
      The General Medical Council (United Kingdom) advocates development of non-core curriculum Student Selected Components and their inclusion in all undergraduate medical school curricula. This article describes a rationale for the design, delivery, assessment and evaluation of Student Selected Components in Forensic and Legal Medicine. Reference is made to the available evidence based literature pertinent to the delivery of undergraduate medical education in the subject area. A Student Selected Component represents an opportunity to highlight the importance of the legal aspects of medical practice, to raise the profile of the discipline of Forensic and Legal Medicine amongst undergraduate medical students and to introduce students to the possibility of a future career in the area. The authors refer to their experiences of design, delivery, assessment and evaluation of Student Selected Components in Forensic and Legal Medicine at their respective Universities in the Republic of Ireland (Galway) and in the United Kingdom (Oxford).

      PubDate: 2017-12-11T11:39:10Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.11.005
      Issue No: Vol. 53 (2017)
       
  • Femur fracture biomechanics and morphology associated with torsional and
           bending loading conditions in an in vitro immature porcine model
    • Authors: Gina Bertocci; Angela Thompson; Mary Clyde Pierce
      Pages: 5 - 11
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 52
      Author(s): Gina Bertocci, Angela Thompson, Mary Clyde Pierce
      Purpose The objectives of this study were to describe fracture morphology resulting from common loading mechanisms such as bending and torsion in immature bone and to identify differences in the energy required to produce various fracture types under these two loading mechanisms using an immature porcine animal model. Methods Twenty-six in vitro immature porcine femora were mechanically tested in 3-point-bending and torsion. Femur specimens were tested with and without soft tissue and at both quasi-static and dynamic loading rates. Bone geometry and density measures were determined for each femur using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and plain film x-rays. Failure load, stiffness, and energy to failure were determined for each specimen from the load-displacement history from mechanical tests. Results 3-point bending tests resulted in 10 transverse fractures and 2 oblique fractures. Torsion tests resulted in spiral fractures. Mean energy required to produce transverse fractures (3.32 Nm) was double that associated with spiral fractures (1.66 Nm). In bending, specimens with soft tissue intact required significantly greater energy to fracture (4.40 Nm) than specimens with soft tissue removed (2.92 Nm). Torsional loading rate did not significantly affect energy to fracture. Conclusions Fracture morphology is dependent upon loading conditions. Energy to failure allows for comparison across various loading conditions, and thus offers an effective means of characterizing fracture thresholds for a wide range of scenarios. Consideration should be given to whether or not soft tissue is left intact when conducting experiments using whole bone specimens given its influence on energy to failure.

      PubDate: 2017-08-04T02:58:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.07.021
      Issue No: Vol. 52 (2017)
       
  • Insect succession on pig carcasses using different exposure time - A
           preliminary study in Guangzhou, China
    • Authors: Yu Wang; Jiangfeng Wang; Zufeng Wang; Luyang Tao
      Pages: 24 - 29
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 52
      Author(s): Yu Wang, Jiangfeng Wang, Zufeng Wang, Luyang Tao
      The exposure time of carcasses in insect succession studies are generally not consistent and more than 40% studies start in the morning. How such an arrangement affects the succession of insects is worth evaluating. In this study, six piglet carcasses (15–17 kg) were exposed at 6 time points during the day: 11:00, 15:00, 19:00, 23:00, 03:00 and 07:00 on July 20th-July 21st 2006 in Guangzhou, China to investigate the potential effects of the time of day of carcass exposure on body decomposition and insect succession, and also to provide fundamental data on insect succession in summer for this area. The results showed that there were negligible differences in the decay process among the carcasses. We found the carcasses synchronized their decay stage after entering the bloated stage on July 21st. All 6 carcasses entered the remains stage on August 3rd (approximately 14 d after carcass placement). The carcasses yielded 30 species of arthropods, representing 3 orders and 12 families, and no obvious differences were found in species composition between the carcasses. However, we found that there were significant differences in the arrival and colonization of Calliphoridae. We found two batches of Chrysomya megacephala (Fabricius) larvae with significant differences in body length and instar on the carcasses placed at the site at 11:00, 15:00 and 19:00. By contrast, there was only one batch of C. megacephala larvae having similar body length and instar on the carcasses placed at the site at 23:00, 03:00 and 07:00. These observations have potential use for estimating the postmortem interval in forensic entomology.

      PubDate: 2017-08-25T03:31:44Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.08.002
      Issue No: Vol. 52 (2017)
       
  • Exploring the relationship between stride, stature and hand size for
           forensic assessment
    • Authors: Richard Guest; Oscar Miguel-Hurtado; Sarah Stevenage; Sue Black
      Pages: 46 - 55
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 52
      Author(s): Richard Guest, Oscar Miguel-Hurtado, Sarah Stevenage, Sue Black
      Forensic evidence often relies on a combination of accurately recorded measurements, estimated measurements from landmark data such as a subject's stature given a known measurement within an image, and inferred data. In this study a novel dataset is used to explore linkages between hand measurements, stature, leg length and stride. These three measurements replicate the type of evidence found in surveillance videos with stride being extracted from an automated gait analysis system. Through correlations and regression modelling, it is possible to generate accurate predictions of stature from hand size, leg length and stride length (and vice versa), and to predict leg and stride length from hand size with, or without, stature as an intermediary variable. The study also shows improved accuracy when a subject's sex is known a-priori. Our method and models indicate the possibility of calculating or checking relationships between a suspect's physical measurements, particularly when only one component is captured as an accurately recorded measurement.

      PubDate: 2017-09-05T03:45:29Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.08.006
      Issue No: Vol. 52 (2017)
       
  • Traumatic brain injury: Comparison between autopsy and ante-mortem CT
    • Authors: Stephanie Panzer; Lidia Covaliov; Peter Augat; Oliver Peschel
      Pages: 62 - 69
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 52
      Author(s): Stephanie Panzer, Lidia Covaliov, Peter Augat, Oliver Peschel
      Purpose The aim of this study was to compare pathological findings after traumatic brain injury between autopsy and ante-mortem computed tomography (CT). A second aim was to identify changes in these findings between the primary posttraumatic CT and the last follow-up CT before death. Methods Through the collaboration between clinical radiology and forensic medicine, 45 patients with traumatic brain injury were investigated. These patients had undergone ante-mortem CT as well as autopsy. During autopsy, the brain was cut in fronto-parallel slices directly after removal without additional fixation or subsequent histology. Typical findings of traumatic brain injury were compared between autopsy and radiology. Additionally, these findings were compared between the primary CT and the last follow-up CT before death. Results The comparison between autopsy and radiology revealed a high specificity (≥80%) in most of the findings. Sensitivity and positive predictive value were high (≥80%) in almost half of the findings. Sixteen patients had undergone craniotomy with subsequent follow-up CT. Thirteen conservatively treated patients had undergone a follow-up CT. Comparison between the primary CT and the last ante-mortem CT revealed marked changes in the presence and absence of findings, especially in patients with severe traumatic brain injury requiring decompression craniotomy. Conclusion The main pathological findings of traumatic brain injury were comparable between clinical ante-mortem CT examinations and autopsy. Comparison between the primary CT after trauma and the last ante-mortem CT revealed marked changes in the findings, especially in patients with severe traumatic brain injury. Hence, clinically routine ante-mortem CT should be included in the process of autopsy interpretation.

      PubDate: 2017-09-05T03:45:29Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.08.007
      Issue No: Vol. 52 (2017)
       
  • Is Willems method universal for age estimation: A systematic review and
           meta-analysis
    • Authors: Jian Wang; Fang Ji; Yue Zhai; Hyun Park; Jiang Tao
      Pages: 130 - 136
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 52
      Author(s): Jian Wang, Fang Ji, Yue Zhai, Hyun Park, Jiang Tao
      Dental age (DA) has been widely accepted as a way to evaluate chronological age (CA) in recent years. However, the applicability of Willems method, as one of the most popular radiographic ways, still remains controversial in different areas. The aim of this study is to assess the difference between DA and CA with Willems method. Relevant studies published up to February 28th, 2017 were selected via PubMed, Embase, the Cochrane Library, CNKI, CBM and manual search. Studies that examined Willems dental age and chronological age were selected. 11 articles with 9347 individuals whose age ranged from 3.0 to 18.9 years old were ultimately included in this study. The general polled data indicated that Willems method overestimated CA by 0.18 years and 0.06 years for males and females respectively. Subgroup analysis for ethnicity showed significant difference for different ethnicities. Our aggregated data demonstrated that Willems method may not be an overall applicable tool to estimate chronological age for the reason of the difference of ethnicity and rational validity is suggested when necessary.

      PubDate: 2017-09-16T00:00:53Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.09.003
      Issue No: Vol. 52 (2017)
       
  • Aims &amp; Scope/Editorial Board
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 53


      PubDate: 2017-12-27T11:49:36Z
       
  • Excited delirium syndrome after withdrawal from 10 days long
           recreationally used GHB
    • Authors: Dirk Corstens
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 December 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Dirk Corstens
      We describe a case of a 51-year old man who used GHB only in the afternoon and evening during 10 consecutive days in a recreational way: 20 ml a day in 4 ml per 2–3 hrs. He developed an excited delirium syndrome at the second day after stopping. Apparently even after relatively short recreational use severe disruptive behavior can develop. This is a unique case in literature. References are provided.

      PubDate: 2017-12-27T11:49:36Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.12.008
       
  • A descriptive study of accidental skeletal injuries and non-accidental
           skeletal injuries of child maltreatment
    • Authors: Maha A.H. Ghanem; Tarek A. Moustafa; Haidy M. Megahed; Naglaa Salama; Sara A. Ghitani
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 December 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Maha A.H. Ghanem, Tarek A. Moustafa, Haidy M. Megahed, Naglaa Salama, Sara A. Ghitani
      Background Lack of awareness and recognition of child maltreatment is the major reason behind underreporting. All victims often interact with the health care system for routine or emergency care. In several research works, non-accidental fractures are the second most common injury in maltreated children and it is represented up to one-third of cases. Aim of the study To determine the incidence of different types of accidental and non-accidental skeletal injuries among children, estimate the severity of injuries according to the modified injury severity score and to determine the degree of fractures either closed or opened (Gustiloe-Anderson open fracture classification). Moreover, identifying fractures resulting from child abuse and neglect. This aimed for early recognition of non-accidental nature of fractures in child maltreatment that can prevent further morbidity and mortality. Patients and method A descriptive study was carried out on all children (109) with skeletal injuries who were admitted to both Main Alexandria and El-Hadara Orthopedic and Traumatology University Hospitals during six months. History, physical examination and investigations were done for the patients. A detailed questionnaire was taken to diagnose child abuse and neglect. Gustiloe-Anderson open fracture classification was used to estimate the degree of open fractures. Results Out of 109 children, twelve cases (11%) were categorized as child maltreatment. One case was physical abuse, eight cases (7.3%) were child neglect and three cases (2.8%) were labour exploitation. Road traffic accidents (RTA) was the commonest cause of skeletal injuries followed by falling from height. Regarding falls, they included 4 cases of stair falls in neglected children and another four cases of falling from height (balcony/window). The remaining 36 cases of falls were accidental. The skeletal injuries were in the form of fractures in 99 cases, dislocation in two cases, both fracture and/or dislocation in three cases, and bone deformity from brachial plexus injury in five cases. Fractures of the lower limb (42.2%) and both bones of the forearm (35%) represented the highest incidence of skeletal injuries in children. 54.5% of fractures due to neglect were lower limb fractures due to falling from height. Ninety-nine cases were diagnosed as long bone fractures and classified as the following; eighty patients as closed fractures, six patients as open grade I fractures, three patients as open grade II fractures, three patients as open grade IIIA fractures, four patients as open grade IIIB fractures and three patients as open grade IIIC fractures. Conclusion and recommendation Cases of neglect and child abuse represented 11% of all the studied cases, where neglect was the main cause. RTA and falling from height represented the most common cause of skeletal injury in children. Most neglectful fractures were lower limb fractures resulting from falling from height. This demonstrates the need for early detection of neglect and child maltreatment aiming for early initiation of parental educational programs about child care and safety. Misinterpretation of skeletal injuries due to neglect or abuse can be avoided by proper training of orthopedic and traumatology staff on signs of child neglect and abuse.

      PubDate: 2017-12-27T11:49:36Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.12.006
       
  • Sex estimation from the patella in an African American population
    • Authors: Tanya Peckmann; Brooke Fisher
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 December 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Tanya R. Peckmann, Brooke Fisher
      The skull and pelvis have been used for the estimation of sex for unknown human remains. However, in forensic cases where skeletal remains often exhibit postmortem damage and taphonomic changes the patella may be used for the estimation of sex as it is a preservationally favoured bone. The goal of the present research was to derive discriminant function equations from the patella for estimation of sex from an historic African American population. Six parameters were measured on 200 individuals (100 males and 100 females), ranging in age from 20 to 80 years old, from the Robert J. Terry Anatomical Skeleton Collection. The statistical analyses showed that all variables were sexually dimorphic. Discriminant function score equations were generated for use in sex estimation. The overall accuracy of sex classification ranged from 80.0% to 85.0% for the direct method and 80.0%–84.5% for the stepwise method. Overall, when the Spanish and Black South African discriminant functions were applied to the African American population they showed low accuracy rates for sexing the African American sample. However, when the White South African discriminant functions were applied to the African American sample they displayed high accuracy rates for sexing the African American population. The patella was shown to be accurate for sex estimation in the historic African American population.

      PubDate: 2017-12-23T11:47:51Z
       
  • Drivers perceived legitimacy of the enforcement practices for
           sleep-related crashes: What are the associated factors'
    • Authors: Christopher N. Watling
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 December 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Christopher N. Watling
      The purpose of traffic law enforcement is to deter risky driving behaviours. The aim of this study was to examine the individual factors of demographic, personality constructs, and attitudes for their association with perceived legitimacy of traffic law enforcement of sleep-related crashes. In total, 293 drivers completed a survey that assessed perceived legitimacy of enforcement and attitudes towards sleepy driving, as well as individual factors of demographic, personality and risk taking factors. The results demonstrate that younger drivers, drivers with higher levels of extraversion, and those with tolerant attitudes towards sleepy driving were less likely to agree that it is legitimate to charge someone if they crash due to sleepiness. The attitudes towards sleepy driving variable had the largest association with perceived legitimacy. Thus, the factors associated with perceived legitimacy of traffic law enforcement of sleep-related crashes are multifaceted. Overall, the findings have relevance with attitudinal and behaviour change programs, particularly with younger drivers.

      PubDate: 2017-12-23T11:47:51Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.12.005
       
  • Age estimation approaches using cranial suture closure: A validation study
           on a Thai population
    • Authors: Sittiporn Ruengdit; Sukon Prasitwattanseree; Karnda Mekjaidee; Apichat Sinthubua; Pasuk Mahakkanukrauh
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 29 November 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Sittiporn Ruengdit, Sukon Prasitwattanseree, Karnda Mekjaidee, Apichat Sinthubua, Pasuk Mahakkanukrauh
      Cranial suture closure, one of the most commonly used age estimation methods, for decades, however, is often viewed with caution and its reliability is still debated. Few methods of estimating age using the skeleton, especially cranial suture, have been tested on Thais. This study aims to test the traditional aging techniques using cranial suture closure on Thai individuals in order to identify the error rate of each method when applied to a Thai sample. Meindl and Lovejoy (1985), Acsádi and Nemeskéri (1970), and Mann (1991) methods were applied to 175 Thai dry crania. Bias and inaccuracy in the Meindl and Lovejoy, Acsádi and Nemeskéri, and Mann methods resulted in overestimation in young adults and underestimation in older individuals with an inaccuracy range of approximately 13–22 years. The Mann method approached 100% in predicting age in older males, but the method did not fare as well on Thai females. The results confirm inter-population variation does exist. Additionally, differences in age composition between populations used to develop the methods and Thais may lead to an increase in error. This study indicates that these three aging methods should be used in conjunction with other techniques. Further research which develops specific methods for Thais might give better results for age estimation.

      PubDate: 2017-12-11T11:39:10Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.11.009
       
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning in Iran during 1999–2016: A systematic
           review and meta-analysis
    • Authors: Seyed Mohammad Hosseininejad; Hamed Aminiahidashti; Iraj Goli Khatir; Seyed Khosro Ghasempouri; Ali Jabbari; Mahmoud Khandashpour
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 28 November 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Seyed Mohammad Hosseininejad, Hamed Aminiahidashti, Iraj Goli Khatir, Seyed Khosro Ghasempouri, Ali Jabbari, Mahmoud Khandashpour
      Background Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is a common cause of emergency department (ED) visits worldwide with high levels of morbidity and mortality. No inclusive nationally statistics of CO poisoning in Iran is available. The present review aimed to describe and review the pattern of CO poisoning in Iran. Methods The search of Medline, SCOPUS, Cochrane library, Google Scholar, Magiran, IranDoc and SID (Scientific Information Database) yielded only 10 studies discussing the epidemiology of CO poisoning in Iran. Outcomes of interest were determining the demographic characteristics, prevalence and mortality rates, annual trends, main sources and mechanisms, location of incidents of CO poisoning as well as providing the safety awareness and precautions. Results Totally, 10 studies including 6372 victims of CO poisoning were reviewed. The estimated incidence rate of CO poisoning was 38.91 per 100,000, the proportionate mortality rate was 11.6 per 1000 death and the pooled case fatality rate of was 9.5% (95% CI 6.3%–14.30%). Of the total 5105 individuals with CO poisoning, 2048 (40.12%) were male and 3057 (59.88%) were female. In addition, of 5105 poisoned, 4620 (90.50%) were alive and 485 (9.50%) were dead. The number of fatal CO poisoning cases among men and women were 259 (5.07%) and 226 (4.43%) victims, respectively; while the number of non-fatal CO poisoning cases among men and women were 1790 (35.06%) and 2830 (55.44%) individuals, respectively. The mean age of victims was about 30 years. Most of the victims (36.37%) had the educational level of secondary school, marital status of single (52.74%), and occupational status of housekeeper (27.48%). Conclusion The incidence, proportionate mortality and case fatality rates of CO poisoning is high in Iran, particularly in young individuals. It seems that preventive strategies should be taught by health care providers more thoroughly and implemented by policy makers more strictly as a mandatory law.

      PubDate: 2017-12-11T11:39:10Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.11.008
       
  • Determining when a fracture occurred: Does the method matter' Analysis
           of the similarity of three different methods for estimating time since
           fracture of juvenile long bones
    • Authors: Anne Drury; Craig Cunningham
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 26 November 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Anne Drury, Craig Cunningham
      Radiographic fracture date estimation is a critical component of skeletal trauma analysis in the living. Several timetables have been proposed for how the appearance of radiographic features can be interpreted to provide a likely time frame for fracture occurrence. This study compares three such timetables, by Islam et al. (2000), Malone et al. (2011), and Prosser et al. (2012), in order to determine whether the fracture date ranges produced by using these methods are in agreement with one another. Fracture date ranges were estimated for 112 long bone fractures in 96 children aged 1–17 years, using the three different timetables. The extent of similarity of the intervals was tested by statistically comparing the overlap between the ranges. Results showed that none of the methods were in perfect agreement with one another. Differences seen included the size of the estimated date range for when a fracture occurred, and the specific dates given for both the upper and lower ends of the fracture date range. There was greater similarity between the ranges produced by Malone et al. (2011) and both the other two studies than there was between Islam et al. (2000) and Prosser et al. (2012). The greatest similarity existed between Malone et al. (2011) and Islam et al. (2000). The extent of differences between methods can vary widely, depending on the fracture analysed. Using one timetable gives an average earliest possible fracture date of less than 2 days before another, but the range was extreme, with one method estimating minimum time since fracture as 25 days before another method for a given fracture. In most cases, one method gave maximum time since fracture as a week less than the other two methods, but range was extreme and some estimates were nearly two months different. The variability in fracture date estimates given by these timetables indicates that caution should be exercised when estimating the timing of a juvenile fracture if relying solely on one of the published guides. Future research should be undertaken to compare these methods on a population of known fracture timing, and to better understand the relationship between age of the individual, skeletal health, fracture healing rates, and radiographic characteristics of fracture healing.

      PubDate: 2017-12-11T11:39:10Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.11.004
       
  • Aims &amp; Scope/Editorial Board
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 52


      PubDate: 2017-11-18T12:41:20Z
       
  • The role of ethyl glucuronide in supporting medico-legal investigations:
           Analysis of this biomarker in different postmortem specimens from 21
           selected autopsy cases
    • Authors: Anna Laura Santunione; Patrizia Verri; Filippo Marchesi; Cecilia Rustichelli; Federica Palazzoli; Daniele Vandelli; Manuela Licata; Enrico Silingardi
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 1 November 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Anna Laura Santunione, Patrizia Verri, Filippo Marchesi, Cecilia Rustichelli, Federica Palazzoli, Daniele Vandelli, Manuela Licata, Enrico Silingardi
      Ethanol determination in postmortem blood is one of the most frequently requested analyses in legal medicine and forensic toxicology. Ethyl glucuronide is a non-oxidative ethanol metabolite. It is also a useful marker of ante-mortem alcohol ingestion when ethanol itself has been completely eliminated from the body and could be considered in autopsy cases to obtain more reliable indications. The aim of the present study was to investigate the ethyl glucuronide distribution in postmortem specimens from autopsy cases found to be positive for ethanol. We presented 21 autopsy cases in which central blood, peripheral blood and liver samples were available. Specimens were analyzed for ethyl glucuronide by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry; we also recorded postmortem interval, case history, cause of death, use of drugs, metabolic disorders if present, putrefaction if present, history of ethanol abuse and information about ethanol intake before death. Our aim was to evaluate and to compare the ethyl glucuronide levels in different matrices taken from the same subject in order to provide a better understanding of the interpretation of postmortem ethyl glucuronide concentrations.

      PubDate: 2017-11-03T12:24:11Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.10.009
       
  • Estimation of stature from hand and handprint measurements in Iban
           population in Sarawak, Malaysia and its applications in forensic
           investigation
    • Authors: Nuranis-Raihan Zulkifly; Roswanira Abd Wahab; Elizabeth Layang; Dzulkiflee Ismail; Wan Nur Syuhaila Mat Desa; Salina Hisham; Naji A. Mahat
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 31 October 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Nuranis-Raihan Zulkifly, Roswanira Abd Wahab, Elizabeth Layang, Dzulkiflee Ismail, Wan Nur Syuhaila Mat Desa, Salina Hisham, Naji A. Mahat
      Handprints and dismembered hands are commonly found during crime scene investigations and disaster victim identifications, respectively. It has been indicated that the accuracy of handprint and hand measurements for estimating stature maybe population specific. Since Iban is the largest ethnic population in Sarawak, Malaysia and because the application of anthropometry of hand and handprint within this population as well as other populations within the Southeast Asian countries remain unreported, this present study that investigated the reliability and accuracy of these two anthropometric aspects acquires forensic significance. Upon measuring the height, 21 measurements were recorded on each hand and the corresponding handprint of 50 male and 52 female consented adult Iban subjects. Using univariate statistics as well as simple and multiple regression analyses, interpretation of the measurements examined here was attempted. Results revealed that lengths of hand and handprint are the more reliable traits for estimating stature in both the male and female Iban subjects (p < 0.05) with correlation strength ranging from 0.60 to 0.76. Comparable to the established skeletal standards for hand, the stature prediction accuracy using hand and handprint measurements investigated in this research ranged between 4.29 and 5.78 cm. Hence, this research provided the first forensic standard for estimation of stature among the Iban population in Sarawak that may prove useful for crime scene investigations and disaster victim identifications in Malaysia.

      PubDate: 2017-11-03T12:24:11Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.10.011
       
  • Willems method of dental age estimation in children: A systematic review
           and meta-analysis
    • Authors: J.S. Sehrawat; Monika Singh
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 25 August 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): J.S. Sehrawat, Monika Singh
      Background Age estimation from dental developmental stages is considered comparatively more accurate, reliable and precise than other methods used in forensic sciences. Willems method is the revised version of Demirjian method, based on modified dental maturity scores to estimate age of children in years for both the sexes. Aims To test the applicability and accuracy level of Willems method of dental age estimation in diverse population samples by quantifying the variations between the chronological and estimated ages of an individual. Methodology A systematic search of online databases (Pubmed, Scopus, Embase, Medline, Trip and Web of Science) was performed for identifying the articles utilizing Willems dental maturity scaling method for age estimation in children. All the research articles published in peer-reviewed English language journals between 2001 and January 2017 were included for present systematic review and meta-analysis. Results Out of the total 973 selected articles; thirty one studies were recruited for qualitative analysis and out of them, 15 studies were selected/identified for quantitative and meta-analysis. It was found that Willems method overestimates the age of children to a comparatively lesser extent (−0.04 and −0.02 years) than the Demirjian method (around six months). Conclusion Willems method of dental age estimation gives comparatively lesser overestimations of age than other methods reported in the available literature and is thus, accurate and reliable enough to be utilized for forensic purposes.

      PubDate: 2017-09-05T03:45:29Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.08.017
       
  • Intracardiac electrocardiographic assessment of precordial TASER shocks in
           human subjects: A pilot study
    • Authors: Jason P. Stopyra; James E. Winslow; David M. Fitzgerald; William P. Bozeman
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 24 August 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Jason P. Stopyra, James E. Winslow, David M. Fitzgerald, William P. Bozeman
      Background Case reports of cardiac arrest in temporal proximity to Conducted Electrical Weapon(CEW) exposure raise legitimate concerns about this as a rare possibility. In this pilot study, we respectfully navigate the oversight and regulatory hurdles and demonstrate the intra-shock electrocardiographic effects of an intentional transcardiac CEW discharge using subcutaneous probes placed directly across the precordium of patients with a previously implanted intracardiac EKG sensing lead. Methods Adults scheduled to undergo diagnostic EP studies or replacement of an implanted cardiac device were enrolled. Sterile subcutaneous electrodes were placed at the right sternoclavicular junction and the left lower costal margin at the midclavicular line. A standard police issue TASER Model X26 CEW was attached to the subcutaneous electrodes and a 5 s discharge was delivered. Continuous surface and intracardiac EKG monitoring was performed. Results A total of 157 subjects were reviewed for possible inclusion and 21 were interviewed. Among these, 4 subjects agreed and completed the study protocol. All subjects tolerated the 5 s CEW discharge without clinical complications. There were no significant changes in mean heart rate or blood pressure. Interrogation of the devices after CEW discharge revealed no ventricular pacing, dysrhythmias, damage or interference with the implanted devices. Conclusions In this pilot study, we have successfully navigated the regulatory hurdles and demonstrated the feasibility of performing intracardiac EKG recording during intentional precordial CEW discharges in humans. While no CEW-associated dysrhythmias were noted, the size of this preliminary dataset precludes making conclusions about the risk of such events. Larger studies are warranted and should consider exploring variations of the CEW electrode position in relation to the cardiac silhouette.

      PubDate: 2017-08-25T03:31:44Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.08.004
       
  • Sex determination from the femur in Portuguese populations with classical
           and machine-learning classifiers
    • Authors: F. Curate; C. Umbelino; A. Perinha; C. Nogueira; A.M. Silva; E. Cunha
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 24 August 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): F. Curate, C. Umbelino, A. Perinha, C. Nogueira, A.M. Silva, E. Cunha
      The assessment of sex is of paramount importance in the establishment of the biological profile of a skeletal individual. Femoral relevance for sex estimation is indisputable, particularly when other exceedingly dimorphic skeletal regions are missing. As such, this study intended to generate population-specific osteometric models for the estimation of sex with the femur and to compare the accuracy of the models obtained through classical and machine-learning classifiers. A set of 15 standard femoral measurements was acquired in a training sample (100 females; 100 males) from the Coimbra Identified Skeletal Collection (University of Coimbra, Portugal) and models for sex classification were produced with logistic regression (LR), linear discriminant analysis (LDA), support vector machines (SVM), and reduce error pruning trees (REPTree). Under cross-validation, univariable sectioning points generated with REPTree correctly estimated sex in 60.0–87.5% of cases (systematic error ranging from 0.0 to 37.0%), while multivariable models correctly classified sex in 84.0–92.5% of cases (bias from 0.0 to 7.0%). All models were assessed in a holdout sample (24 females; 34 males) from the 21st Century Identified Skeletal Collection (University of Coimbra, Portugal), with an allocation accuracy ranging from 56.9 to 86.2% (bias from 4.4 to 67.0%) in the univariable models, and from 84.5 to 89.7% (bias from 3.7 to 23.3%) in the multivariable models. This study makes available a detailed description of sexual dimorphism in femoral linear dimensions in two Portuguese identified skeletal samples, emphasizing the relevance of the femur for the estimation of sex in skeletal remains in diverse conditions of completeness and preservation.

      PubDate: 2017-08-25T03:31:44Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.08.011
       
  • A preliminary evaluation study of new generation multiplex STR kits
           comprising of the CODIS core loci and the European Standard Set loci
    • Authors: Jolena Ying Ying Tan; Yuen Peng Tan; Shilen Ng; Annabel Suan Tay; Yong Han Phua; Wei Jie Tan; Terenze Yao Rui Ong; Li Min Chua; Christopher Kiu Choong Syn
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 25 July 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Jolena Ying Ying Tan, Yuen Peng Tan, Shilen Ng, Annabel Suan Tay, Yong Han Phua, Wei Jie Tan, Terenze Yao Rui Ong, Li Min Chua, Christopher Kiu Choong Syn
      The GlobalFiler™ (Life Technologies), Investigator® 24plex QS (Qiagen), and PowerPlex® Fusion 6C (Promega) kits are the latest generation 6-dye fluorescent chemistry STR-PCR amplification kits. These kits allow for the simultaneous amplification of the CODIS core loci and the European Standard Set loci, as well as a few Y-STR loci in addition to the standard sex-determining marker Amelogenin. The present study was designed to be a preliminary evaluation of the three STR-PCR kits in terms of sensitivity, profile recovery from degraded DNA samples, tolerance to PCR inhibitors, and detection of minor components in DNA mixtures. The results showed that the three STR-PCR kits had relatively similar performance with each kit faring better for the different aspects studied. The PowerPlex® Fusion 6C and the Investigator® 24plex QS kits were shown to tolerate inhibitors better, while the GlobalFiler™ kit appeared to have a higher mean percentage recovery of alleles from low template DNA samples and for minor components in DNA mixtures.

      PubDate: 2017-08-04T02:58:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.07.017
       
 
 
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