Journal Cover Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
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   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 1752-928X
   Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3044 journals]
  • 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)
       
  • A metric study of insole foot impressions in footwear of identical twins
    • Authors: Michael S. Nirenberg; Kewal Krishan; Tanuj Kanchan
      Pages: 116 - 121
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 52
      Author(s): Michael S. Nirenberg, Kewal Krishan, Tanuj Kanchan
      Foot impressions are of utmost importance in crime scene investigations. Foot impressions are available in the form of barefoot prints, sock-clad footprints, and as impressions within footwear. Sometimes suspects leave their footwear at the crime scene, and the insole of this footwear may contain the foot impression of the suspect which may be important evidence linking him or her to the crime. The task of identification based on the analysis of footprints can be challenging when the footprints belonging to one of the identical twin is available for examination. The present study is based on the quantitative measures of the foot impressions in the footwear of adult identical twins. The study was conducted on four sets of female monozygotic twins from the United States of America. A total of 17 length and breadth measurements were taken on each foot impression. A combination of Reel Method and Extended Gunn Method was utilized to produce the measurements. The measurements of the foot impressions were compared among the twins on the right and the left side. Differences were found in the various footprint measurements among the twins. The study's sample size was not large enough to apply robust statistical tests, but the study is significant in that it presents the first detailed comparative analysis of a large number of measurements of insole foot impressions of adult twins. The observations derived from the study are likely to assist forensic investigations in cases involving the foot impressions of the twins.

      PubDate: 2017-09-16T00:00:53Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.09.005
      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)
       
  • Stabilisation of dental structures of severely incinerated victims at
           disaster scenes to facilitate human identification
    • Authors: John Berketa; Denice Higgins
      Pages: 45 - 49
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 51
      Author(s): John Berketa, Denice Higgins
      Fatalities due to fire events such as bushfires, domestic and industrial fires and vehicle accident related incineration, leave victims with limited prospects of being accurately identified. Due to their morphology and anatomical position teeth are uniquely protected in incineration cases and via comparison to dental records often provide the only scientifically valid means of identification. However, extreme heat and direct exposure to flame can render the teeth extremely fragile and vulnerable to damage and loss especially during collection and transportation to the mortuary. Here we highlight the advantages of forensic odontology assistance at the scene of such events and discuss techniques and protocols applied to actual cases in which these processes were used to facilitate the identification of incineration victims.

      PubDate: 2017-08-04T02:58:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.07.020
      Issue No: Vol. 51 (2017)
       
  • Microbial communities in burial soil layers
    • Authors: Beuy Joob; Viroj Wiwanitkit
      First page: 50
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 51
      Author(s): Beuy Joob, Viroj Wiwanitkit


      PubDate: 2017-08-04T02:58:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.07.022
      Issue No: Vol. 51 (2017)
       
  • Color stability of dental restorative materials submitted to cold
           temperatures for forensic purposes
    • Authors: Roberto Cesar Biancalana; Sergio Augusto Freitas Vincenti; Ricardo Henrique Alves da Silva; Fernanda Carvalho Panzeri Pires-de-Souza
      Pages: 63 - 68
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 51
      Author(s): Roberto Cesar Biancalana, Sergio Augusto Freitas Vincenti, Ricardo Henrique Alves da Silva, Fernanda Carvalho Panzeri Pires-de-Souza
      In the post-mortem examination of the dental arches of accident victims in cold locations, dental restorative materials can be found. Cold temperatures can be capable of causing color changes of aesthetic materials, such as composite resin (CR) and glass ionomer cement (GIC). The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of the cold action on the color stability of CR and GIC restorations, in order to discriminate them and enable the adequate comparison between antemortem and post-mortem data. Sixty bovine teeth (30 CR and 30 GIC) were prepared (6 × 6 × 2 mm) and separated into groups (n = 10). The color readouts were taken by a portable spectrophotometer, before and after of cold action (2.5 °C, −20 °C, −80 °C) inside of freezers. There were color alterations in the coordinates (ΔE, ΔL∗, Δa∗ e Δb∗) for both materials. The authors concluded that cold was capable of producing changes in color in the two esthetic materials, with similar intensities between the two, at all the temperatures studied, when analyzed at 7 days. After being submitted to cold for 30 days, the changes were more significant for CR, allowing it to be differentiated from GIC after 30 days, at all the temperatures tested. Therefore, the test proposed in the study was shown to be practical, feasible and capable of helping Forensic Odontology with the identification of victims.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2017-08-04T02:58:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.07.016
      Issue No: Vol. 51 (2017)
       
  • Similar mechanisms of traumatic rectal injuries in patients who had anal
           sex with animals to those who were butt-fisted by human sexual partner
    • Authors: Damian Jacob Sendler
      Pages: 69 - 73
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 51
      Author(s): Damian Jacob Sendler
      Sexual pleasure comes in various forms of physical play, for many it involves stimulation of the vagina, while the anus for others; some enjoy both. A recent report by Cappelletti et al.1 shows a meta-analysis of cases describing anal trauma due to sexual fisting in human partners. This clinical article reports four cases of males diagnosed with zoophilia, and who received anal sex from animals, resulting in injuries. Surgical and psychiatric evaluations are summarized. Unusual etiology of sexual activity with animals caused peri-anal trauma in men who engaged in anal sex with dogs and farm animals. Injuries to patients who receive anal sex from animals are mechanistically similar to fisting-induced rectal damage. Among zoophiles, the mode of harm occurs through blood-engorged, interlocked penis that causes tissue lacerations upon retraction from an anus. In people experimenting with fisting, repetitive stretching within anal canal and of external sphincter causes the internal injuries. The mode of physical stimulation explains the extent of injuries in fisters vs. zoophiles: in fisting, the pressure applied by hand is controllable proximally around and within anal sphincter, while penetration by the animal penis is unpredictable and occurs within the proximal anal canal. Forensically, the findings presented in this article describe a significant mechanism of injury in fisters versus passive zoophiles. These descriptions may aid in clinically differentiating pleasurable and pathological rectal stimulation.

      PubDate: 2017-08-04T02:58:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.07.014
      Issue No: Vol. 51 (2017)
       
  • Osteoarchaeological evidence of an unknown medieval battle in Northern
           Italy. A case of Forensic Anthropology
    • Authors: Marta Licata; Chiara Rossetti
      Pages: 74 - 75
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 51
      Author(s): Marta Licata, Chiara Rossetti


      PubDate: 2017-08-04T02:58:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.07.023
      Issue No: Vol. 51 (2017)
       
  • What do clinicians understand about deaths reportable to the Coroner'
    • Authors: Amanda Charles; Wendy Cross; Debra Griffiths
      Pages: 76 - 80
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 51
      Author(s): Amanda Charles, Wendy Cross, Debra Griffiths
      Setting The study setting is a tertiary referral hospital of over 980 beds, in Victoria, Australia. The hospital is a long established major academic public health service providing healthcare, health professional education and health research. The hospital has 103,756 in-patient admissions, 190,756 outpatient attendances and over 82,000 presentations to the Emergency Department annually. Participants 22 clinicians completed an in-depth, audio-recorded interview: 12 medical and 10 nursing staff, with a variety of clinical experience. Intervention(s) Each audio recorded interview was transcribed verbatim for thematic analysis. The semi structured questions were designed to explore the clinician's understanding of deaths that meet the criteria to be reported to Coroners Court of Victoria (CCOV), and why such reporting was required. There was also the opportunity to identify any barriers or enablers to the reporting process, whether internal or external to the organisation. Results Two main themes emerged from the interviews: 1. lack of awareness of which deaths are reportable to the coroner and 2. the need for educational support. Several subthemes were also identified such as accountability, the need for feedback and blame. Discussion The understanding of clinicians as to which deaths meet the reportable criteria in healthcare is quite variable and this indicates that there might be a level of under reporting. Apart from the potential of not meeting legal obligations, there may also be the loss of a valuable opportunity for lessons to inform clinical practice and enhance the delivery of safe patient care.

      PubDate: 2017-08-04T02:58:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.07.024
      Issue No: Vol. 51 (2017)
       
  • Differentiation of Cannabis subspecies by THCA synthase gene analysis
           using RFLP
    • Authors: Natasa Cirovic; Miljana Kecmanovic; Dusan Keckarevic; Milica Keckarevic Markovic
      Pages: 81 - 84
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 51
      Author(s): Natasa Cirovic, Miljana Kecmanovic, Dusan Keckarevic, Milica Keckarevic Markovic
      Cannabis sativa subspecies, known as industrial hemp (C. sativa sativa) and marijuana (C. sativa indica) show no evident morphological distinctions, but they contain different levels of psychoactive Δ-9-tetrahidrocanabinol (THC), with considerably higher concentration in marijuana than in hemp. C. sativa subspecies differ in sequence of tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) synthase gene, responsible for THC production, and only one active copy of the gene, distinctive for marijuana, is capable of producing THC in concentration more then 0,3% in dried plants, usually punishable by the law. Twenty different samples of marijuana that contain THC in concentration more then 0,3% and three varieties of industrial hemp were analyzed for presence of an active copy of THCA synthase gene using in-house developed restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) method All twenty samples of marijuana were positive for the active copy of THCA synthase gene, 16 of them heterozygous. All three varieties of industrial hemp were homozygous for inactive copy. An algorithm for the fast and accurate forensic analysis of samples suspected to be marijuana was constructed, answering the question if an analyzed sample is capable of producing THC in concentrations higher than 0.3%.

      PubDate: 2017-08-04T02:58:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.07.015
      Issue No: Vol. 51 (2017)
       
  • Medico legal aspects of self-injection of metallic mercury in cases of
           suicide or self-harming
    • Authors: Ugo Da Broi; Carlo Moreschi; Antonio Colatutto; Barbara Marcon; Silvia Zago
      Pages: 12 - 19
      Abstract: Publication date: August 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 50
      Author(s): Ugo Da Broi, Carlo Moreschi, Antonio Colatutto, Barbara Marcon, Silvia Zago
      Metallic mercury may be self-injected for suicidal or self-harm purposes or sometimes for superstitious or other inadvisable reasons. Local tissue or systemic consequences such as mercurialism can frequently occur in cases of subcutaneous or deep injection, while death due to pulmonary embolism and cardiac, brain, hepatic or renal toxicity may occur in cases of high dosage intravenous administration. The aim of this review is to focus on the diagnostic difficulties facing coroners and forensic pathologists when the courts require confirmation that evidence of self-injection of metallic mercury is the result of suicide or self-harming. Forensic examination performed on the corpses of victims who died in or out of hospital or on surviving injured or intoxicated victims showing signs of mercurialism, demands the careful evaluation of the death scene, of all related circumstances and of the clinical and autopsy data. Close interaction between forensic pathologists and toxicologists is also needed to identify and quantify mercury levels in blood, urine and tissue.

      PubDate: 2017-06-26T19:52:57Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.06.002
      Issue No: Vol. 50 (2017)
       
  • Child protection and the development of child abuse pediatrics in New York
           City
    • Authors: Vincent J. Palusci
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 14 September 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Vincent J. Palusci
      The history of child abuse pediatrics reflects the development of medicine as a profession influenced by social movements reacting to poverty, economic exploitation, and child maltreatment. As physicians began to specialize in caring for children, egregious cases led them to recognize children were affected by special medical problems and diseases which were compounded by poor conditions and abuse and neglect. They developed the fields of pediatrics and child abuse pediatrics to advocate for their needs in courts and communities. Using a history of prominent physicians and cases, the objectives of this article are to: (1) rediscover the founding of pediatrics in NYC in the context of the environment which served as the setting for its development; (2) highlight our early understanding of the medical issues surrounding child maltreatment, with advocacy and forensic medicine becoming a growing part of medical care for children; and (3) explore the development of child abuse pediatrics in light of prominent physicians making major contributions to child protection. Timelines show the early interplay among social problems, publicized cases, private and governmental agencies, and the development of child abuse pediatrics. The article concludes with potential lessons to be learned and further questions about this interplay of child protection systems and the development of child abuse pediatrics.

      PubDate: 2017-09-16T00:00:53Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.09.008
       
  • Role of inducible nitric oxide synthase and interleukin-6 expression in
           estimation of skin burn age and vitality
    • Authors: Mona M. Abo El-Noor; Fatma M. Elgazzar; Hanan A. Alshenawy
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 September 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Mona M. Abo El-Noor, Fatma M. Elgazzar, Hanan A. Alshenawy
      Estimation of age and vitality of burn injury both in the living and dead is essential in forensic practice. Nitric oxide and interleukin-6 (IL-6) play an important role in skin burn healing. In this study, the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and IL-6 proteins during skin burn healing in rats was studied for purposes of burn dating and to differentiate between ante-mortem and post-mortem burn. Ante-mortem skin burns were created on forty five rats. Normal and burnt skin samples were taken at 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15 and 21 days following burn induction (5 rats for each stage). Post-mortem burn was inflicted 6 h after scarification in another five rats. There was a statistically significant difference in both iNOS and IL-6 expression between the different time intervals of the ante-mortem burn. Expression of both iNOS and IL-6 decreased remarkably in the post-mortem burn with a statistically significant difference from ante-mortem intervals. A statistically significant positive association between the two markers was found. These results indicate that both iNOS and IL-6 expression in ante-mortem burnt skin was time dependent and significantly differed from post-mortem burn. Further research on humans is recommended.

      PubDate: 2017-09-16T00:00:53Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.09.001
       
  • Sex determination from chest measurements in a sample of Egyptian adults
           using Multislice Computed Tomography
    • Authors: Ragaa T. Darwish; Manal H. Abdel-Aziz; Abdel-Aziz M. El Nekiedy; Zahraa K. Sobh
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 September 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Ragaa T. Darwish, Manal H. Abdel-Aziz, Abdel-Aziz M. El Nekiedy, Zahraa K. Sobh
      Background In forensic sciences to determine one's sex is quite important during the identity defining stage. The reliability of sex determination depends on the completeness of the remains and the degree of sexual dimorphism inherent in the population. Computed Tomography is the imaging modality of choice for two- and three-dimensional documentation and analysis of many autopsy findings. Objective The aim of the present work was to assess the reliability of Three-dimensional Multislice Computed Tomography (3D MSCT) to determine sexual dimorphism from certain chest measurements; sternum and fourth rib using the 3D MSCT and to develop equations for sex determination from these bones among adult Egyptians sample. Subjects and methods The present study was performed on 60 adult Egyptians. Their age ranged from 21 up to 74 years and they were equally divided between both sexes. Sixty virtual chests (reconstructed Multislice Computed Tomography 3D images) were examined for detection of Sternal measurements; Manubrium length (ML), Sternal body length (BL), Manubrium width (MW), Sternal body widths(BWa&BWb), Sternal area (SA) [(ML + BL) × (MW + BWa + BWb)/3]and Fourth rib width (FRW). Results All the studied measurements were significantly higher in males than in females. Multiple regression analysis was used to and three significant regression equations were developed for predicting sex using the different studied chest measurements; the sternal measurements, the sternal area and the widths of the right and left fourth ribs with their accuracies 96.67%.95.0%.72.68% respectively. Conclusion Sterunm and fourth rib width revealed significant metric sex differences with the use of Multislice Computed Tomography 3D images thus provide a great advantage in the analysis of skeletal remains and badly decomposed bodies.

      PubDate: 2017-09-16T00:00:53Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.09.006
       
  • Student's perception about innovative teaching learning practices in
           Forensic Medicine
    • Authors: Sanjay Gupta; Utsav N. Parekh; Jaishree D. Ganjiwale
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 September 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Sanjay Gupta, Utsav N. Parekh, Jaishree D. Ganjiwale
      Background Since decades, Forensic Medicine is mainly taught by didactic methods but in last couple of years some other teachinglearning and assessment methods are also introduced at some places which also lacks uniformity. Feedback from learners is most fundamental aspect to assess effectiveness of applied methods, but is not implemented in practice at most medical schools in India. Unfortunately, medical students are deprived of this practical empowerment and thus may not be efficient enough to contribute potentially to the justice system during their professional life. In order to improve their efficiency in the field, we introduced few innovative teaching-learning methods and documented their perceptions. Materials and Methods: This pilot study was carried out with students who had completed their second professional year (5th semester) of medical curriculum. Students were exposed to few innovative teaching-learning and assessment approaches in addition to conventional methods during their Forensic Medicine term. These approaches were interactivity in large group lecturing, small group activities, student led objective tutorial, court visit in real scenario, practical records book, surprise tests, structured theory question papers, model answers, objective structured practical examinations and structured oral viva. Their perceptions were documented later through structured questionnaire. Results Students reported all methods as 'interesting' except 'surprise tests'. Court visits were rated highest for generating interest (98%). Clarity of concept was experienced through all methods (range of 71–95%). Interactive large group lectures reported highest (by 95%students) for clarifying concepts, although this is not a typical characteristic of large group teaching. Enhanced learning experience was reported in 75–92.5% for different methods. Student Led Objective Tutorials seemed to facilitate enhance learning most (92.5%). Conclusion Innovations in teaching-learning are need of hour especially in subject like Forensic Medicine which has direct implications to add into administration of justice in the court of law. This pilot study has given us ideas for making teaching-learning and assessment more student centric considering emerging societal needs.

      PubDate: 2017-09-16T00:00:53Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.09.007
       
  • Aims & Scope/Editorial Board
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 51


      PubDate: 2017-09-09T23:45:29Z
       
  • Neuropathology and brain weight in traumatic-crush asphyxia
    • Authors: Safa Al-Sarraj; Ross Laxton; Ben Swift; Alexander Kolar; Rob Chapman; Ashley Fegan-Earl; Nat Cary
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 25 August 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Safa Al-Sarraj, Ross Laxton, Ben Swift, Alexander Kolar, Rob Chapman, Ashley Fegan-Earl, Nat Cary
      Traumatic (crush) asphyxia is a rare condition caused by severe compression of the chest and trunk leading to often extreme so-called asphyxial signs, including cyanosis in head and neck regions, multiple petechiae, and subconjunctival haemorrhage as well as neurological manifestations. Aims To investigate the neuropathology and brain weight in traumatic asphyxia caused by different accidents such as industrial accidents and road traffic collision. Material and Methods Post mortem records of 20 cases of traumatic asphyxia (TA) resulting from different causes of which four brains are available for comprehensive neuropathological examination. The expected brain weights for given body height and associated 95% confidence range were calculated according to the following formula: baseline brain weight (BBW) + body height x rate (g/cm). The 95% confidence range was calculated by adding and subtracting the standard error (SE) x 1.96 (7–8). Results There was a trend for higher brain weight in the TA cohort but it was not significant (1494 g vs 1404 g, p = 0.1). The upper limits of the brain weight of 95% confidence was 1680 g vs 1660 g, p = 0.9). The neuropathological examination of four available brains from the TA cohort showed severe congestion of blood vessels, perivascular haemorrhages and occasional βAPP deposits consistent with early axonal disruption. Conclusion Brain examination is informative as part of investigation of TA. Developing ischaemic changes and an increase in brain weight are the most likely indicators of a prolonged period of patient's survival.

      PubDate: 2017-09-05T03:45:29Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.08.009
       
  • 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
       
  • Volatile lipophilic substances management in case of fatal sniffing
    • Authors: Francesco Saverio Romolo; Natale Mario Di Luca; Costantino Ciallella; Edoardo Bottoni; Paola Antonella Fiore; Simone Cappelletti; Nicole Giuliani; Marc Augsburger; Vincent Varlet
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 24 August 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Francesco Saverio Romolo, Natale Mario Di Luca, Costantino Ciallella, Edoardo Bottoni, Paola Antonella Fiore, Simone Cappelletti, Nicole Giuliani, Marc Augsburger, Vincent Varlet
      Death due to inhalation of aliphatic hydrocarbons such as butane and propane is a particularly serious problem worldwide, resulting in several fatal cases of sniffing these volatile substances in order to “get high”. Despite the number of cases published, there is not a unique approach to case management of fatal sniffing. In this paper we illustrate the volatile lipophilic substances management in a case of a prisoner died after sniffing a butane-propane gas mixture from prefilled camping stove gas canisters, discussing the comprehensive approach of the crime scene, the autopsy, histology and toxicology. A large set of accurate values of both butane and propane was obtained by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry analyzing the following post-mortem biological samples: peripheral blood, heart blood, vitreous humor, liver, lung, heart, brain/cerebral cortex, fat tissue, kidney, and allowed an in depth discussion about the cause of death. A key role is played by following the proper sampling approach during autopsy.

      PubDate: 2017-08-25T03:31:44Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.08.005
       
  • Sudden death in a child caused by a giant cavernous hemangioma of the
           anterior mediastinum
    • Authors: Yui Igari; Shirushi Takahashi; Akihito Usui; Yusuke Kawasumi; Masato Funayama
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 24 August 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Yui Igari, Shirushi Takahashi, Akihito Usui, Yusuke Kawasumi, Masato Funayama
      A 4-year-old girl who had been treated for asthma since the age of 2 years had a severe coughing fit and died suddenly. The patient had a history of occasional severe coughing fits, and these fits had been worsening in severity during the week before her death. Prior to death, she was taken to a clinician, and thymic hypertrophy was suspected based on chest X-ray findings. The clinician recommended that she visit a general hospital at a later date; however, she died that night. Postmortem radiology and autopsy revealed a large mass in the anterior mediastinum compressing the heart and airway, and no other findings attributable to sudden death were observed. Therefore, we concluded that the patient's death was attributable to acute respiratory and cardiac circulatory failure secondary to the pressure induced by the mass. Microscopically, the mass showed a cavernous structure composed of cystically dilated, thin-walled large vessels filled with blood. The final diagnosis was a cavernous hemangioma. Hemangiomas are the most common benign vascular anomalies seen in young children; however, mediastinal hemangiomas are rare and can cause life-threatening complications because of their size and location. Therefore, forensic pathologists should include hemangioma as a differential diagnosis in children with anterior mediastinal masses.

      PubDate: 2017-08-25T03:31:44Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.08.008
       
  • The incidence and epidemiology of eldercide in the city of Johannesburg,
           South Africa
    • Authors: Sizakele Buthelezi; Lu-Anne Swart; Mohamed Seedat
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 24 August 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Sizakele Buthelezi, Lu-Anne Swart, Mohamed Seedat
      The current study describes the incidence and epidemiological characteristics of eldercide (homicides among victims aged 60 years and older) in Johannesburg for the period 2001 to 2010. A retrospective population-based study was conducted on cases drawn from the National Injury Mortality Surveillance System. A total of 557 eldercides were recorded by NIMSS for the study period with an average annual rate of 23.1 per 100 000. The average annual rate for males was 42.4 per 100 000 and 8.9 per 100 000 for females. There was little variation in the rates by race. Eldercide victims were predominantly male (77.4%), black (48.3%) or white (43.2%), and were mainly killed by firearms (44.8%) or the use of blunt force (27.8%), in a private residence (66.0%), on a week day (53.8%) and during the day (56.1%). The study also found that the characteristics of eldercide varied across males and females, and across black and white race groups. The high incidence of eldercides points to the need for interventions that give special attention to the risk configurations and circumstances associated with these violent deaths.

      PubDate: 2017-08-25T03:31:44Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.08.018
       
  • 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
       
  • Cardiac injuries caused by trauma: Review and case reports
    • Authors: Luís Leite; Lino Gonçalves; Duarte Nuno Vieira
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 24 August 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Luís Leite, Lino Gonçalves, Duarte Nuno Vieira
      Assessment of suspected cardiac injuries in a trauma setting is a challenging and time-critical matter, with clinical and imaging findings having complementary roles in the formation of an accurate diagnosis. In this article, we review the supporting literature for the pathophysiology, classification and evaluation of cardiac injuries caused by trauma. We also describe 4 cardiac trauma patients seen at a tertiary referral hospital.

      PubDate: 2017-08-25T03:31:44Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.08.013
       
  • 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
       
  • Polymorphism of 15 short tandem repeat loci in Hui population of Ningxia
           Tongxin district
    • Authors: Xiuzi Ma; Runguang Sun; Changchun Hao
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 24 August 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Xiuzi Ma, Runguang Sun, Changchun Hao
      Objective To investigate the polymorphism of 15 STR loci in Hui population from Ningxia Tongxin district. Methods Identifiler Plus kit used to detect the allelic frequencies of 15 STR loci in 598 unrelated Tongxin Hui individuals, and the population genetics parameters were calculated by using statistic software. Results The results demonstrated that all loci were found to be no deviation from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (P > 0.05), Heterozygosity (H) ranged from 0.637 to 0.868, matching probability (Pm) ranged from 0.034 to 0.213, power of discrimination (DP) ranged from 0.787 to 0.966, polymorphism information content (PIC) ranged from 0.560 to 0.850, power of exclusion (PE) ranged from 0.338 to 0.730. Conclusions The 15 STR loci are relatively abundant in polymorphic information and suitable for paternity testing and personal identification.

      PubDate: 2017-08-25T03:31:44Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.08.014
       
  • Acquired body marks: A mode of identification in forensics
    • Authors: Monika Kulshreshtha; P.R. Monda
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 24 August 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Monika Kulshreshtha, P.R. Monda
      Each individual regardless of sex, age and caste has a particular identification mark present on their body. This study is mainly an attempt to understand the distribution pattern of different types of acquired body marks present on the body which can be used as a marker for individual identification in Forensics. Data was collected by means of observation, interview schedule and interviews from 160 individuals of 6 multi-caste villages of Udaipur in Rajasthan, India. A wide variation was observed in the distribution patterns of various acquired body marks. Scars were the most prevalent (87.5%) followed by body piercing (66%), occupational marks (38.5%), tattoo marks (27.5%) and body deformity (5%). There is a strong association between sex of an individual and presence of tattoo and occupational marks. Type of occupation is associated with the presence of scar and occupational marks. Age also has its influence on the presence and type of - tattoo and occupational marks. This wide variation in the distribution of acquired body marks based on sex, age, educational status, occupation, religion etc. of an individual need to be considered and included as a method of identification of unknown in Forensic Science.

      PubDate: 2017-08-25T03:31:44Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.08.012
       
  • Traumatic lower extremity and lumbosacral peripheral nerve injuries in
           adults: Electrodiagnostic studies and patients symptoms
    • Authors: Arash Babaei-Ghazani; Bina Eftekhar-sadat; Bahram Samadirad; Vida Mamaghany; Saeed Abdollahian
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 24 August 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Arash Babaei-Ghazani, Bina Eftekhar-sadat, Bahram Samadirad, Vida Mamaghany, Saeed Abdollahian
      Background Peripheral nerve injuries (PNI) are relatively common pathologies in clinical practice. PNIs are rare in the lower extremity but have worse prognosis than those in the upper extremity. Electrodiagnostic studies could help better understanding PNIs. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the distribution of lower extremity PNI in traumatic patients in northwest of Iran. Methods In this prospective study, 74 patients (62 male and 12 female with mean age of 38.39 ± 14.42 years) with possible lower or lumbosacral peripheral nerve injury were studied. Patients' demographic information and physical examination findings were recorded. Electrodiagnostic investigations including electromyography and Nerve Conduction Study were performed for all subjects. Results Common chief complaints were pain and weakness. Impairment in the sensory function was present in 59.5% and muscle force reduction in 47.3%. PNIs were present in 23.0% and mostly were severe. Injuries in sciatic nerve were the most common PNIs (16.2%). Electrodiagnostic studies showed radiculopathy in 48.7% and plexopathy in 8.10% of cases. In 52 patients (70.3%), the physical examination findings were compatible with Electrodiagnostic studies. Conclusion Not all patients presenting with traumatic injuries have lower extremity PNIs. Due to the nature of the trauma and the anatomical course of the nerves, sciatic nerve is more susceptible to traumatic injuries.

      PubDate: 2017-08-25T03:31:44Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.08.010
       
  • Big data in forensic science and medicine
    • Authors: Thomas
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 August 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Thomas Lefèvre
      In less than a decade, big data in medicine has become quite a phenomenon and many biomedical disciplines got their own tribune on the topic. Perspectives and debates are flourishing while there is a lack for a consensual definition for big data. The 3Vs paradigm is frequently evoked to define the big data principles and stands for Volume, Variety and Velocity. Even according to this paradigm, genuine big data studies are still scarce in medicine and may not meet all expectations. On one hand, techniques usually presented as specific to the big data such as machine learning techniques are supposed to support the ambition of personalized, predictive and preventive medicines. These techniques are mostly far from been new and are more than 50 years old for the most ancient. On the other hand, several issues closely related to the properties of big data and inherited from other scientific fields such as artificial intelligence are often underestimated if not ignored. Besides, a few papers temper the almost unanimous big data enthusiasm and are worth attention since they delineate what is at stakes. In this context, forensic science is still awaiting for its position papers as well as for a comprehensive outline of what kind of contribution big data could bring to the field. The present situation calls for definitions and actions to rationally guide research and practice in big data. It is an opportunity for grounding a true interdisciplinary approach in forensic science and medicine that is mainly based on evidence.

      PubDate: 2017-08-14T03:17:36Z
       
  • 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
       
  • Essentials of Medicolegal Death Investigation, Matthew M. Lunn. Academic
           Press (Elsevier) (2017)
    • Authors: Bernard Jones
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 51
      Author(s): Bernard Jones


      PubDate: 2017-07-25T02:52:32Z
       
  • Aims & Scope/Editorial Board
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 50


      PubDate: 2017-07-25T02:52:32Z
       
  • Intentional burn injury: Assessment of allegations of self-infliction
    • Authors: Juliet Cohen; Jo Pettitt; Emily Wilbourn
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 5 July 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Juliet Cohen, Jo Pettitt, Emily Wilbourn
      This study investigates the question of whether there is evidence that suggests the possibility of self-infliction, or self-infliction by proxy, of burn injury among a group of asylum claimants in the UK who have attributed such injuries to torture, and how such evidence might be assessed. The question arose from the observations of doctors at the UK-based charity Freedom from Torture that increasing numbers of individuals from Sri Lanka who described a history of torture had suffered severe and disfiguring burn injuries from heated metal objects, and the suggestion from asylum decision-makers that in some cases such injuries could have been acquired deliberately by self-infliction or self-infliction by proxy rather than by torture as claimed. This suggestion has not been confined to Sri Lankan cases, but due to the large numbers of Sri Lankan asylum claimants referred to Freedom from Torture in recent years, including many with this type of injury, the case set for this study was drawn from this population. As many of these injuries are found to be on the back, where self-infliction would be extremely difficult, the possibility of self-infliction by proxy was specifically investigated. An observational data set was examined in detail, comprising medico-legal reports for Sri Lankans with heated metal object burn injuries documented in 2011–14 by the Medico-Legal Reports Service at Freedom from Torture. All had described detention in Sri Lanka since the end of the civil war in 2009. The study reviewed the documented evidence of these injuries alongside other physical and psychological evidence attributed to torture and relevant contextual factors documented in each case. Findings were compared with previous research on torture in Sri Lanka and patterns of injury identified in forensic medicine for both self-infliction and self-infliction by proxy. Thorough examination of the evidence found no indication in this data set to suggest the possibility of self-infliction or self-infliction by proxy and supported the view that, as indicated in the Istanbul Protocol, the overall conclusion on likelihood of torture should be made on evaluation of all the physical and psychological evidence over and above the scrutiny of an individual lesion.

      PubDate: 2017-07-07T02:33:27Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.07.005
       
  • The pattern of self-harm in Fars Province in South Iran: A
           population-based study
    • Authors: Saeid Gholamzadeh; Mozhghan Zahmatkeshan; Mohammad Zarenezhad; Elaheh Ghaffari; Sanaz Hosseini
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 5 July 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Saeid Gholamzadeh, Mozhghan Zahmatkeshan, Mohammad Zarenezhad, Elaheh Ghaffari, Sanaz Hosseini
      Non-suicidal self-harm includes cutting, scratching, burning and minor overdosing. There have been few studies that have examined the rate and pattern of self-harm among different individuals of the society. We performed a population-based study to determine different aspects of non-suicidal self-harm in cases referred to legal medicine organization of Fars Province and south Iran. In a population-based longitudinal survey, we applied data from cases referred to legal medicine organization of Fars province. The survey included questions about the history, method, frequency, age of onset and help-seeking for non-suicidal self-harm. The data about non-suicidal self-harm were collected since 2007 to 2011 and analyzed using students' T-test for continuous data and χ2 for binary or categorical data using SPSS ver. 21.0. Totally 2166 individuals were diagnosed who had ever harmed themselves. Self-injuries such as cutting, scratching and self-hitting were the most common forms of non-suicidal self-harm (83.2%). The mean age of onset was 25.7 ± 2.6 years. Self-injury was more frequent in males and individuals with lower education levels mostly unemployed. The most frequent injury site was posterior side of the body for example shoulders (157; 9.8%) and the most type of the injury was bruise in 398(55.26%) cases. Hard objects (1197; 55.26%) were the most used devices for self-injury followed by cutting and sharp devices. Among those who reported non-suicidal self-harm, 56% had sought help while self-injury. We found a high prevalence of non-suicidal self-harm in different individuals of the society in Fars province since 2007 to 2011. Many mental-health symptoms as well as legal and financial gains should be evaluated for any association with this behavior.

      PubDate: 2017-07-07T02:33:27Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.07.003
       
  • Endosulfan poisoning: An overview
    • Authors: Ritesh G. Menezes; Tooba Fatima Qadir; Ariba Moin; Huda Fatima; Syed Ather Hussain; Mohammed Madadin; Syed Bilal Pasha; Fatima A. Al Rubaish; S. Senthilkumaran
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 5 July 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Ritesh G. Menezes, Tooba Fatima Qadir, Ariba Moin, Huda Fatima, Syed Ather Hussain, Mohammed Madadin, Syed Bilal Pasha, Fatima A. Al Rubaish, S. Senthilkumaran
      Endosulfan, an organochlorine (OC) insecticide, is a widely used agricultural pesticide, despite its life threatening toxic effects. In this review, the pharmacokinetics of endosulfan, mechanism of endosulfan toxicity, clinical presentations and management, histopathological findings, and toxicological analysis are described, in addition to its environmental toxicity. The toxic effects of endosulfan can affect many organs and systems presenting in a wide array of signs and symptoms. Although termed a restricted OC-classed pesticide, scheduled for cancellation, it continues to be used, especially in the developing world, owing to its beneficial effects on agriculture. Several cases of endosulfan poisoning have been reported from different regions of the world. Whether accidental or intentional, endosulfan ingestion proves to be fatal unless immediate, aggressive treatment is initiated. Management is mainly supportive as no antidote exists for endosulfan poisoning yet. The use of endosulfan needs to be strictly regulated and eventually banned worldwide altogether to lower the current morbidity and mortality resulting from this pesticide. Additionally, monitoring biological samples, using non-invasive techniques such as breast milk sampling, can provide an effective method of observing the elimination of this environmentally persistent organic pollutant from the general population.

      PubDate: 2017-07-07T02:33:27Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.07.008
       
  • Persistence of immersed blood and hair DNA: A preliminary study based on
           casework
    • Authors: Christophe Frippiat; Agathe Gastaldi; Séverine Van Grunderbeeck
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 5 July 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Christophe Frippiat, Agathe Gastaldi, Séverine Van Grunderbeeck
      In some cases, evidence is collected from rivers, canals, lakes or sink pipes. To determine the utility of analyzing these samples and for cases in which DNA was recovered from submerged bulletproof vest parts, we evaluated the time necessary to degrade the blood and, subsequently, DNA on bulletproof vests. In a second experiment, also based on cases, blood was diluted in water from a kitchen sink pipe and incubated at room temperature for different times. Subsequently, DNA quality was assessed. In a parallel experiment, hair roots were incubated in spring water for different time periods. This study demonstrates that after one week of immersion of the bulletproof vest parts in a canal only one sample from more than 100 samples gave a partial genetic profile. No genetic profile were obtained for the 99 other samples. After one month immersion and despite the finding that blood remained detectable on bulletproof vest parts, no genetic profile was obtained for all samples using the classical STR approach. For longer immersion times, no genetic profiles were obtained. In sink pipe water, an incubation time of 72 h (h) was necessary before significant blood degradation occurred. Nevertheless, high inter-sample variability was observed. This high variability may be explained by the variability of water composition coming from nine different sink pipes. For hair root cells incubated in water, we observed that more than 90% of the DNA was degraded after 72 h.

      PubDate: 2017-07-07T02:33:27Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.07.009
       
  • An overview of the challenges facing death investigation systems in
           certain resource limited countries
    • Authors: Ken Obenson; George Enow Orock
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 10 May 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Ken Obenson, George Enow Orock
      A properly operated death investigation system (DIS) serves multiple stakeholders. Law enforcement, public health departments and members of the public, benefit in various ways from the information that it provides. This information must be collected systematically and efficiently. The system must also be flexible enough to respond to pressures on its resources such as occurs during mass disasters. These obligations on a DIS require an investment of public money. However even in affluent Western countries the recent world economic crisis has led to a cut in spending on public services both to the healthcare system and services associated with death investigation. Although pathologists and other stake holders (judiciary, police, families) would like to see death investigations conducted to international standards, the fact is that policy makers in resource limited countries face additional population health and sociopolitical pressures which generally result in very little funding for the service. The purpose of this paper is to review some of the challenges that impede the proper functioning of a death investigation system in resource limited countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean. Possible solutions are discussed.

      PubDate: 2017-05-11T08:29:15Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.05.011
       
 
 
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