Effects of Alcohol on Traumatic Brain Injuries and Second Impact Syndrome

Traumatic brain injury scanINTRODUCTION

When a Forensic Pathologist and/or Neuropathologist evaluates a brain that has been subjected to traumatic brain injury (TBI), they tend to focus on the anatomic injuries, i.e., fractures of the calvarium or base of the skull; presents of epidural, subdural or subarachnoid hemorrhage; acute contusions, whether they be coup, contracoup or gliding; the presence of intraparenchymal hemorrhage; the presence of edema; and evidence of herniation to name a few of the anatomic injuries.

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Postmortem Hemorrhage: Examination by a Forensic Pathologist

Forensic Science Newsletter: February 2017

A recent case I was asked to review involved a victim who had been shot multiple times.  In the first two trials the jury was unable to reach a verdict whether the shooting of the victim was self defense or murder.  The prosecution decided to try the shooter a third time.  As a forensic pathologist, I was subsequently asked to review some of the trial testimony, police reports, autopsy reports and the scene and autopsy photographs.

In the autopsy, the Forensic Pathologist states there was 750 cc of blood in the right pleural cavity; 450 cc in the left pleural cavity; 30 cc in the pericardial sac; and 100 cc in the abdominal cavity.  At the time of the trials, the Prosecutor inquired of the Forensic Pathologist, the significance of the blood in the respective cavities and the pericardial sac.  Continue reading Postmortem Hemorrhage: Examination by a Forensic Pathologist

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