IN BLUNT CHEST TRAUMAS
Sari H, Koc S,
Asirdizer M, Albek E, Kolusayin O.
2nd Congress of Forensic
Science, Uludag University Medical School, Bursa-1996, Summary Book of Congress.
Haemo-and pneumo-thorax occur as a complication of blunt chest trauma frequently
leads to death. Whilst the extent of bleeding that causes death can be determined without difficulty during autopsy, its contributory
role in the lethal outcome remains obscure if pneumo-thorax investigation is not carried out at the beginning of the postmortem
examination. This is of paramount importance with regard to the elucidation of the mechanism of death in cases where visceral
trauma and internal hemorrhage is of limited extent.
The presence of pneumo-thorax can be shown in cases of blunt chest trauma if
putrefaction has not yet commenced.
In the present study pneumo-thorax investigation in 100 cases of non-penetrating
blunt chest trauma revealed positive results in 35 and negative cues in 65 instances, respectively. Traffic accidents and
falls from height constituted the majority of the cases; the test was positive in 34, 28 % of traffic accidents and in 48,
37 % of cases of fail from height. These positive cases presented with the following findings: rib fractures in 29 (82.85
%), haemo-thorax in 26 (74, 28 %), laceration of lungs in 26 (74, 28 %) and sternal fracture in 5 (14, 28 %) cases.
Cases with a postmortem interval longer than 48 hours as well as those with
advanced putrefaction were excluded from the study; remarkably, in 4 of 10 such cases used as the control group, the test
yielded positive results.
Key words: blunt chest trauma, qualitative pneumo-thorax investigation,