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  [3051 journals]
  • 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)
       
  • 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)
       
  • New records of forensic entomofauna in legally buried and exhumed human
           infants remains in Buenos Aires, Argentina
    • Authors: Roxana Mariani; Rocío García-Mancuso; Graciela L. Varela; Ivana Kierbel
      Pages: 215 - 220
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 September 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Roxana Mariani, Rocío García-Mancuso, Graciela L. Varela, Ivana Kierbel
      The study of carrion fauna associated with buried human corpses from a forensic perspective could provide useful information in criminal investigations. Insects and other arthropods remains sampled of 44 legally exhumed infant skeletons from La Plata (Buenos Aires, Argentina). They were identified at different taxonomic levels depending on the state of preservation. The specific diversity, abundance and frequency were analyzed and each taxon was assigned to the hypothetical colonization sequence: burial colonization, post-exhumation contamination at cemetery deposit or soil fauna. The phorid Dohrniphora sp. is mentioned for the first time in Argentina as carrion fauna of underground colonization, and the assemblage of Dohrniphora sp., Megaselia scalaris and Hydrotaea aenescens is proposed as indicator of buried cadavers. These findings provide new useful data to be applied in forensic entomology research.

      PubDate: 2017-09-28T00:21:16Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.09.012
      Issue No: Vol. 52 (2017)
       
  • Rupture portions in the vertebral artery in traumatic basal subarachnoid
           hemorrhage
    • Authors: Seongho Kim; Young Jin Jun; Jong In Na; Minjung Kim
      Pages: 221 - 222
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 September 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Seongho Kim, Young Jin Jun, Jong In Na, Minjung Kim


      PubDate: 2017-09-28T00:21:16Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.09.013
      Issue No: Vol. 52 (2017)
       
  • Characteristics of Mexican children and adolescents who died by suicide: A
           study of psychological autopsies
    • Authors: Thelma Beatriz González-Castro; Carlos Alfonso Tovilla-Zárate; Yazmín Hernández-Díaz; Isela E. Juárez-Rojop; Alejandra Giovanna León-Garibay; Crystell Guadalupe Guzmán-Priego; Lilia López-Narváez; Ana Frésan
      Pages: 236 - 240
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 October 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Thelma Beatriz González-Castro, Carlos Alfonso Tovilla-Zárate, Yazmín Hernández-Díaz, Isela E. Juárez-Rojop, Alejandra Giovanna León-Garibay, Crystell Guadalupe Guzmán-Priego, Lilia López-Narváez, Ana Frésan
      Objective In recent years, suicide in children and adolescents has increased considerably, becoming the second cause of death in this age group. Therefore, the aim of this study was to identify characteristics and factors that could precipitate deaths by suicide in children and adolescents. Methods Using the psychological autopsy method, we studied 28 suicide cases of children and adolescents between 10 and 17 years old. Socio-demographic factors, characteristics of the suicide and family history were documented. Results The proportion of deaths by suicide was the same in females and males (50% each). Most of the suicides were performed at the child/adolescent's home (78.6%) and no history of previous suicide attempts were registered (85.7%). Also, the majority of suicidal individuals came from a dysfunctional family (60.7%). Conclusions Our results identified characteristics of children and adolescents that had died by suicide, such as dying at their homes and coming from dysfunctional families. Knowing the characteristics of children and adolescents that had ended their lives by suicide should be considered in future studies to help developing preventive programs and strategies for treating suicidal behaviors in Mexican children and adolescents.

      PubDate: 2017-10-14T00:50:02Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.10.002
      Issue No: Vol. 52 (2017)
       
  • 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
       
  • Corrigendum to “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
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 1 November 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Damian Jacob Sendler


      PubDate: 2017-11-03T12:24:11Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.10.008
       
  • 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
       
  • Getting to the core of medicine: Developing undergraduate forensic
           medicine and pathology teaching
    • Authors: Richard Martin Jones
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 October 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Richard Martin Jones
      Teaching and learning of forensic medicine and pathology in the undergraduate medical curriculum has been in decline for decades in the UK, and yet graduates are expected to be able to recognise, and protect, those who are most vulnerable in society – i.e. at risk of abuse or neglect - a matter highly relevant to the role of the forensic medical practitioner. When Cardiff University School of Medicine created a new ‘learner-centred’ undergraduate curriculum, championing case-based discussion in small groups, and earlier clinical contact, residual teaching on ‘the pathology of trauma’ disappeared. An opportunity to create a new course for the year 3 core curriculum, however, led to re-emergence of forensic medicine and pathology, with a focus on identification, and protection, of the ‘vulnerable patient’. This paper describes the development process of the first two iterations of that course, and the influence of ‘listening to the student voice’. Forensic medicine and pathology remain relevant in undergraduate medical education; effective, and ethical, safeguarding of the vulnerable is an essential ‘core’ skill of the modern medical graduate, and forensic medical practitioners can play an integral role in the preparation of medical students for their future clinical practice.

      PubDate: 2017-11-03T12:24:11Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.10.006
       
  • Accessibility of prison healthcare for elderly inmates, a qualitative
           assessment
    • Authors: Raheleh Heidari; Tenzin Wangmo; Serena Galli; David M. Shaw; Bernice S. Elger; Violet Handtkea; Wiebke Bretschneider
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 4 October 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Raheleh Heidari, Tenzin Wangmo, Serena Galli, David M. Shaw, Bernice S. Elger
      Aging in custody and the rising population of elderly prisoners are creating compelling challenges for criminal justice, prison and public healthcare systems. Geriatric syndrome and higher prevalence of co-morbidities amongst older inmates result in heightened vulnerability in prison environments. Empirical research addressing older adults' access to medical care in detention is scarce; therefore, this study assessed access to medical care in prison from the perspective of older prisoners in Switzerland. We interviewed a sample of 35 older inmates (average age 61 years) on their experience of healthcare accessibility in prison; data were qualitatively analysed and major themes regarding evaluation of their access to medical services were extracted. Our findings identified three barriers to accessing health services in prison including psychological obstacles, negative consequences of healthcare utilisation, and environmental hurdles. We advocate facilitating older inmates' access to medical care in order to relieve the psychological burden of seeking health services in detention and adequately informing them of their right to demand these services, thereby lessening the negative consequences of their requests. We suggest further training of prison and medical staff for better management of age-related issues in prison can ease the environmental obstacles.

      PubDate: 2017-10-06T00:35:07Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.10.001
       
  • Age estimation using Olze's method in an adult Brazilian population
    • Authors: Geovane Praxedes; Lavez Andrea Sayuri Silveira Dias Terada Thais Uenoyama
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 4 October 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Geovane Praxedes Lavez, Andrea Sayuri Silveira Dias Terada, Thais Uenoyama Dezem, Rodrigo Galo, Ricardo Henrique Alves da Silva
      Objectives Age estimation is important to set an anthropological profile in human remains, as well as in legal issues where the suspect or victim doesn't have documents that prove the real age. The age estimation, in adults, is a challenge, and it can be analyzed through some dental stages. This study aimed to test Olze's method in a Brazilian sample composed by adults, aged between 20 and 70 years old, both sex. Methods For experiments, 306 orthopantomography from Brazilian individuals between 20 and 70 years were selected. The dental involution through four different dental parameters were Classified and The correlation between chronological age and the estimated age was examined by means of a multiple regression analysis. Results The results showed that up to 41 years old, the correlation between real age and the interval obtained was considered strongly positive (R = 0.8–1), and the percentage of matching was 78.78% for men and 71.21% for women. From 42 years old up, the correlation between real age and the estimation was considered null (R = 0) for both sex, and the percentage of matching was 17.24% for men and 6.89% for women. Conclusion It could be concluded that the method is effective for age estimation up to 41 years old, but has limitations to be used over this age in Brazilian people.

      PubDate: 2017-10-06T00:35:07Z
       
  • Forensic and clinical significance of serum amylase, lipase and gamma
           glutamyl transferase as predictors of outcome in head injured patients
    • Authors: Mona Mohamed; Abo El-Noor Naema Mahmoud ElHosary Hytham Ibrahim Elatrozy
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 4 October 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Mona Mohamed Abo El-Noor, Naema Mahmoud ElHosary, Hytham Ibrahim Elatrozy, Hussein Mohamed Abou Elgheit, Ahmed Mohamed Elbelkasy, Ahmed Gamal Fath, Ghada Hamed El-Shafy
      Head trauma is one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. Combined head lesions consist of more than one form of lesions. Biochemical markers of brain injury are used in determining the extent of brain injury and predicting its outcomes.The aim of this study was to investigate the forensic and clinical significance of serum amylase, lipase and gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT) as predictors of the outcome in head injured patients. Patients and methods Sixty head injured patients were enrolled and subjected to personal history taking, general and local physical examination. Glasgow coma scale (GCS), head computed tomography scan and pelvi-abdominal ultrasound were performed. Two blood samples (each 3 mL) were drawn at the time of admission and after 24 h for measuring serum amylase, lipase and GGT levels using special kits. Results Most cases of head trauma occurred accidentally during daytime, in the street as a result of falls and road traffic accidents (RTA). Significant increase of serum amylase, lipase and GGT levels on re-evaluation after 24 h from admission were demonstrated in combined head lesions. There was a high significant negative correlation between GCS and these enzymes both on admission and 24 h after admission. Serum levels of measured enzymes were significantly higher in non-survivors as compared to survivors. Conclusion serum amylase, lipase and GGT are good predictors of the outcome in head injured patients. This could be useful for forensic experts to deduce that the poor outcome of the victims was primarily related to the effects of head trauma and its sequences.

      PubDate: 2017-10-06T00:35:07Z
       
  • Prosopography, prosoporecognography and the Prosoporecognographical Chart
    • Authors: E.F. Santos-Filho; H.B.B. Pereira
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 September 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): E.F. Santos-Filho, H.B.B. Pereira
      Recognizing and identifying an individual based on his or her face is a technical and scientific challenge and the objective of our investigation. This article's goal is to establish a method, a foundation and an instrument for carrying out the process of recognizing and identifying an individual. Both the construction of the term and the deepening, conceptualization and epistemology of the process of describing and representing the face through a particular method of recognizing and identifying individuals are described in this article. The proposal of the Prosoporecognographical Chart is an important step in the facial-identification process, establishing taxonomic parameters for the phenotypic manifestations of the elements constituting the face. Based on the proposal presented here, the construction of a protocol for the process of recognizing and identifying an individual can be implemented computationally.

      PubDate: 2017-09-21T00:08:08Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.09.004
       
  • Intra- and inter-rater agreement of the Genital Injury Severity Scale
    • Authors: Dana L. Kelly; Hillary J. Larkin; Lauri A. Paolinetti
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 19 September 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Dana L. Kelly, Hillary J. Larkin, Lauri A. Paolinetti
      Introduction The Genital Injury Severity Scale (GISS) is a clinimetrically-tested tool in use for quantifying and qualifying external genital injury after sexual intercourse. Purpose To evaluate inter- and intra-rater agreement of the GISS amongst examiner/raters in an urban, ethnically diverse, emergency department based sexual assault center. Methods The study was conducted in three phases. Six examiners with various years of experience rated their own cases and each others' cases greater than one year after the initial exam. They rated the photographs and documentation of each case at least one year apart. Another six raters utilized a combination of the photos and documentation simultaneously from the same cases. The evaluation method was the completion of the GISS for each phase. Results Based on the experience level of the rater, the differences in overall agreement were not significant. Strength of agreement was highest with the combination of photos and documentation with W ranging from 0.60501 (substantial) to 0.91056 (almost perfect). The GISS variables with the highest level of agreement were tissue break type and toluidine blue uptake type, both with photo evaluation alone and combination of documentation and photos (W = 0.72051 and 0.74599, respectively). Conclusion The Genital Injury Severity Scale is a reliable tool to quantify and qualify the severity of external genital injury when used to evaluate a combination of photos and documentation utilizing midlevel providers trained as sexual assault forensic examiners with various years of experience.

      PubDate: 2017-09-21T00:08:08Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.09.011
       
  • Effects of microbial DNA on human DNA profiles generated using the
           PowerPlex® 16 HS system
    • Authors: Gina M. Dembinski; Christine J. Picard
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 17 September 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Gina M. Dembinski, Christine J. Picard
      Most crime scenes are not sterile and therefore may be contaminated with environmental DNA, especially if a decomposing body is found. Collecting biological evidence from this individual will yield DNA samples mixed with microbial DNA. This also becomes important if postmortem swabs are collected from sexually assaulted victims. Although genotyping kits undergo validation tests, including bacterial screens, they do not account for the diverse microbial load during decomposition. We investigated the effect of spiking human DNA samples with known concentrations of DNA from 17 microbe species associated with decomposition on DNA profiles produced using the Promega PowerPlex® HS system. Two species, Bacillus subtilis and Mycobacterium smegmatis, produced an extraneous allele at the TPOX locus. When repeated with the PowerPlex® Fusion kit, the extra allele no longer amplified with these two species. This experiment demonstrates that caution should be exhibited if microbial load is high and the PowerPlex® 16HS system is used.

      PubDate: 2017-09-21T00:08:08Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.09.010
       
  • Genital piercings in the context of acute sexual assault
    • Authors: Amy P. Goldberg
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 17 September 2017
      Source:Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
      Author(s): Amy P. Goldberg
      After an acute sexual assault, children and adolescents often present for medical evaluation and treatment. Physicians have an important role in both the medical and legal components of these cases. Careful physical examination and questioning are important in determining the origin of the trauma. In the presented case report, genital trauma after an acute sexual assault was noted and attributed to the alleged offender's penis piercing. The genital trauma caused by the piercing provided physical evidence linking offender to victim and may have implications for the victim's risk of HIV infection and other blood borne pathogens.

      PubDate: 2017-09-21T00:08:08Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.09.009
       
  • 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
       
  • Aims &amp; 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
       
  • 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
       
  • 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
       
  • 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
       
 
 
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