PENETRATING INJURIES Dr. Ravi Nanayakkara
Objectives • Discuss the medico legal aspects of Incised wounds and Penetrating injuries/stabs
Penetrating injuries Penetrate into a body cavity or deeper tissue through the skin. • Stab wounds • Punctured wounds • Perforations
Punctured wounds • Caused by pointed instruments • Only tip is pointed • Rest of the weapon may be round/blunt • Can penetrate into a body cavity • Wound is circular with marginal bruise Weapons : nail, needle
Perforating wound • By a long blunted instruments • Wounds have marginal bruises • Ends may be torn Weapons: Screw driver, probe, broken end of a tree Perforating laceration by bullets.
Stab wounds Penetrating injuries caused by flat, thin bladed, sharp cutting weapons Depth of the wound is greater than external length Weapons : Table knives, kris knives, scissors
Features of the weapon modify the appearance of the injury • Sharpness of the blade • Thickness of the blade • Width of the blade • Length of the blade • Shape of the blade • Number of cutting edges • Presence of a guard
Shape of the blade • Uniformly tapering • Tapering and pointed only at tip Passage through solid organs (liver, kidney) or bone will give a clear idea of the shape.
Number of cutting edges • Single cutting edge One end will be cut and other torn Fish tail appearance • Double cutting edge Both ends will be cut
Presence of a guard • If the weapon is driven up to the hilt, it will leave an imprint abrasion.
Stabs with scissors • Stabs with broken bottle
Force require to cause a penetrating injury will depend on • Pointed, thin, sharp blade require less force • Area of the body Thick skin greater force • Underlying structures • Involvement of clothing
Medico legal importance By examining a wound • Circumstance • Type of the weapon/s • Volitional activities • Cause of death
Summary • Definition • Identification and features • Medico legal importance