Archive | 2021

Forensic tools for the diagnosis of death due toelectrocution: a comprehensive and multidisciplinarystudy



In the daily practice of the forensic pathologist, electrocution may represent a difficult diagnosis. The study was performed on the autopsies carried out in Berlin, Germany, over a 12-year period. A total of 54 cases were found. Each case was studied with the analysis of the autopsy protocol as well as the documentation provided by the police. When present, post-mortem CT analysis and the results of toxicology \nand histology examinations have been also considered. \nThe results of the study showed the importance of a team approach, in which all the steps are crucial and must be taken with the utmost discipline and caution. The analysis of the scene is fundamental and allows many elements of investigation to be obtained regarding the \ntype of electricity (low / high), type of event and points of \npossible contact between the victim and the current flow. The autopsy is the following crucial step and strictly required. Every particular element of the external examination must be adequately described and documented, with particular attention given not only to marks on the skin, but also to other elements that can provide indications, such as the presence of petechiae, the internal examination of the cadaver for evidence of underlying natural diseases, such \nas cardiovascular conditions. All further investigations are also fundamental: post-mortem CT for \nrecognition and characterization of lesions and pathological alterations, toxicological tests to \nevaluate possible causes or contributing causes of death as well as the abilities of the subject \nat the moment of contact with electricity. \nThe extensive study carried out as part of this research represents a valuable element of analysis and constructiveness for forensic pathology.

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