Falls from a height are a common cause of suicidal death in urban settings. The aim of the present work is to describe and discuss a specific set of 307 autopsies performed in a metropolitan city such as Milan, Italy from 2006 to 2011, with a special focus on the relationship between the injury pattern and height of the fall, age at death and weight at death. The rib cage (92%), the lungs (76%), the heart (53%) and the liver (58%) turned out to be the most injured structures in the whole population. Age resulted statistically significant for heart, thoracic aorta, mesentery, kidney hilus, hip bones and right forearm injuries. Weight resulted statistically significant for subtentorial brain, facial skull, rib cage, lungs and liver injuries. Height was significant for the facial skull (including the jaw), lungs, heart, thoracic aorta, diaphragm, liver, cervical spine, sacroiliac joints, pubic symphysis, right arm and left leg. A simple Injury Extension Score was also calculated which showed a correlation with height. A great variability does exist across all the available forensic literature concerning falls from a height. As a strong common denominator for the injury pattern across all the available literature there is however the very low prevalence of neck injuries, the very high prevalence of rib cage fractures and a definite thorax and upper abdomen injury.

The injury pattern in fatal suicidal falls from a height : an examination of 307 cases / Casali, M. B.; Battistini, A.; Blandino, A.; Cattaneo, C.. - In: FORENSIC SCIENCE INTERNATIONAL. - ISSN 0379-0738. - 244:(2014), pp. 57-62. [10.1016/j.forsciint.2014.08.004]

The injury pattern in fatal suicidal falls from a height : an examination of 307 cases

A. Blandino;
2014-01-01

Abstract

Falls from a height are a common cause of suicidal death in urban settings. The aim of the present work is to describe and discuss a specific set of 307 autopsies performed in a metropolitan city such as Milan, Italy from 2006 to 2011, with a special focus on the relationship between the injury pattern and height of the fall, age at death and weight at death. The rib cage (92%), the lungs (76%), the heart (53%) and the liver (58%) turned out to be the most injured structures in the whole population. Age resulted statistically significant for heart, thoracic aorta, mesentery, kidney hilus, hip bones and right forearm injuries. Weight resulted statistically significant for subtentorial brain, facial skull, rib cage, lungs and liver injuries. Height was significant for the facial skull (including the jaw), lungs, heart, thoracic aorta, diaphragm, liver, cervical spine, sacroiliac joints, pubic symphysis, right arm and left leg. A simple Injury Extension Score was also calculated which showed a correlation with height. A great variability does exist across all the available forensic literature concerning falls from a height. As a strong common denominator for the injury pattern across all the available literature there is however the very low prevalence of neck injuries, the very high prevalence of rib cage fractures and a definite thorax and upper abdomen injury.
2014
Falls from a height
Forensic pathology
Injury pattern
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11768/152015
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